BC Liberals: North Vancouver MLAs silent as residents face longest clinic wait times in B.C.

A new report from Medimap has highlighted the continued crisis in B.C.’s primary care system, revealing that residents of North Vancouver waited an average of two hours and forty minutes to see a doctor at walk-in clinics in 2022, the longest wait in the country. Meanwhile, the NDP’s North Shore MLAs have failed to advocate for residents on this critical issue, said the BC Liberals on Tuesday.

“It’s unacceptable that North Vancouver MLAs Bowinn Ma and Susie Chant were nowhere to be found on the issue of wait times, standing by silently as our community became the worst city in the province to visit a walk-in clinic,” said West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Karin Kirkpatrick. “People on the North Shore are desperate for better access to primary care — more than 7,600 people in our community are on wait lists for a family doctor and every month that list gets longer. Continued inaction from government is simply not good enough. MLA Ma’s office is in the same building as one of these walk-in clinics — she has a front row seat to this crisis and should be demonstrating to the people of North Vancouver that she is working every day to address these significant problems.”

According to the 2022 Medimap Walk-in Clinic Wait Time Index, North Vancouver has the longest wait times in all of Canada, with an average wait of 160 minutes per visit, closely followed by Victoria at 137 minutes. Average wait times in B.C. increased from 58 to 79 minutes in 2022, triple the average wait time in Ontario.

“The crisis in primary care is getting worse, not better, and it is deeply frustrating to watch as this NDP government fails to deliver desperately needed results,” said BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon. “People are suffering. They are exhausted by the process of looking for a family doctor, anxious about having to wait months for medical imaging and specialists, and rightly worried about whether care will be available to them and their loved ones in the case of an emergency. We need fewer announcements and better results.”

The BC Liberals noted that they first put forward a 30-day action plan to address the crisis in primary care last July, announcing further solutions to the health care crisis a few weeks later.