Recent History – 1999
May 11, 1999, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Patients will be able to turn to the Internet to find shorter wait lists for surgical procedures. Health Minister Penny Priddy announced Friday that a new web site will be established that will provide patients and doctors with wait times for specialists across the province and cover 20 categories of specialized surgeries and treatments like cancer services, cardiac surgery, and hip replacements.
“Many patients aren’t aware that wait lists vary widely among doctors and hospitals,” said Priddy in a new release. “We want to give patients and doctors easy access to the most current wait list figures, so they can make informed choices and receive the most timely care.”
The web site is based on the existing wait list registry, which will be expanded to include every B.C. hospital performing more than 1,000 in-patient and day care surgeries each year.
The information on the web site, which can be found at www.hlth.gov.bc.ca/waitlist, will be updated each month. Patients who do not have access to the Internet will be able to call the B.C. Health Info Line at 1-800-465-4911.
South Peace Health Council director of acute care and patient services, Beth Kidd, said that the web site will likely be of little use for patients here. Other than in orthopedic surgery, she said the wait lists are generally short.
Orthopedic surgery will be back in operation on June 1 when the surgeon has returned from educational leave.
“We have low waiting lists except in orthopedics at this point in time, so we could have people opting to come in,” she said.
Kidd did express one concern regarding post-operation recovery. If a patient was to travel all the way to Terrace for surgery for example, would he stay there for the recovery period or would he return home to be looked after by his general practitioner?
“I don’t know if it’s been completely thought out, but it is going forward,” she said.