Clinic business

How long to wait at a walk-in clinic in Victoria?

Wait times at walk-in clinics in Victoria averaged 161 minutes in 2021, according to the company – well above the provincial average of 58 minutes and the national average of 25 minutes.

According to data from Medimap, Victorians spent longer, on average, waiting to get into a walk-in clinic than anywhere in the country.

The company, which displays real-time wait times for hundreds of walk-in clinics across Canada, says wait times in Victoria averaged 161 minutes in 2021 – well above from City #2, Kelowna, 91 minutes.

Medimap’s Walk-in Clinic Wait Times Index for 2021 shows British Columbians waited more than twice as long – 58 minutes – to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic as the national average of 25 minutes. Data is for 2021 and comes from more than 1,200 walk-in clinics across the country that subscribe to Medimap’s services.

In comparison, Ontarians waited an average of 15 minutes followed by 18 minutes on average in Alberta, according to data.

Six of the 10 cities with waiting times longer means in Canada in 2021 were in British Columbia. Kelowna, White Rock, North Vancouver and Vancouver all recorded average waiting time of 60 minutes or more.

Sherwood Park, Alta., had the shortest wait times in the country, with patients waiting an average of four minutes to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic.

Eight of the 10 cities with the shortest wait times in 2021 were in Ontario, although that province also had outliers like Burlington where the average wait time was 51 minutes, according to the data collected.

Clinics pay to use Medimap’s software, but the service is free to patients and eliminates the need for patients to call or come to a clinic only to deal with a waiting room that is over capacity.

CEO Blake Adam, a graduate of the University of Victoria business school, launched Medimap in 2015 with a six-month pilot project in White Rock and in 2016 expanded to 35 clinics in British Columbia, including 15 clinics in Greater Victoria.

Since then, the service has expanded to the whole country in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The company says that more than 70% of clinical medical walk-in Canada use its software.

While average wait times for walk-in clinics in Ontario have improved since 2019, wait times in British Columbia have increased.

The average wait time in British Columbia increased by 15 minutes from 2019 to 2021, while the average wait time in Alberta decreased by seven minutes over the same period. Wait times in Ontario decreased to 15 minutes in 2021 from 26 minutes in 2019.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com