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Sask. walk-in clinic wait times reach 71 minute average

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Index from Medimap — a tech company that matches patients with walk-in clinics — shows the average wait time for walk-in clinics in Saskatchewan increased by 20 minutes in 2023.

Patients in Saskatchewan had to wait on average 71 minutes to see a doctor at walk-in clinics last year, which was 20 minutes longer than in 2022.

Data shows the average wait time in Saskatchewan was three minutes longer than the national average — which increased to 68 minutes last year.

National average wait times increased more than 30 minutes in 2023, according to the Medimap data.

In Saskatoon, patients had to wait an average of 76 minutes to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic, while patients in Regina waited around 61 minutes.

“Saskatchewan is seeing the same problems as the rest of the country and will need to continue investing in healthcare, likely starting with the communities,” Medimap CEO Thomas Jankowski said in a news release Wednesday.

“It’s also expanded the scope of practice for pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and paramedics in 2023 which should start yielding some exciting results later this year”.

British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan had the longest average wait time in 2023 with patients waiting 93 minutes, 72 minutes, and 71 minutes respectively.

Data shows Manitoba and Ontario had the shortest wait time, with patients waiting 45 minutes and 59 minutes, respectively.

This data comes at a time when doctors and nurses at hospitals in Saskatchewan cities also report they're struggling to cope with the high volume of patients at their facilities.

Earlier this month, a traumatic situation in St. Paul’s hospital waiting room prompted nurses to enact a last-resort measure to sound the alarm about overcapacity and patient safety.

The situation triggered nurses calling to "stop the line" — a phrase that originated from the manufacturing industry, where assembly lines can be stopped if there's an emergency.

It marked the first time St. Paul's emergency nurses have ever initiated the measure, which triggered a health and safety review.

In November, CTV News reported St. Paul’s Hospital was in violation of national fire codes, as patients were being treated in the hallway and beds were blocking fire exits.

The story prompted the Saskatchewan Health Authority to create an “action plan” to alleviate the pressure on the city’s hospitals.

—With files from Laura Woodward

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