The shortest Toronto walk-in clinic wait times by neighbourhood
Necessary as it may be from time to time, going to the doctor sucks — especially if you don't have a regular family physician to book in with.
Even if you do, some problems simply can't wait until your MD's earliest available appointment. Vicious earache? Last-minute prescription refill? A cough that won't quit? Suspected flu?
Walk-in clinics exist all over Canada to address the urgent needs of residents who may not be sick or injured enough for the hospital, but need medical attention quickly.
They're an important part of our country's healthcare landscape, but few are actually fun to visit. Some of this has to do with the presence of other sick people and/or their sick, screaming children. More of it has to do with the need to wait for what feels like a year to actually see a health professional.
Medimap, an online platform that lets Canadians track walk-in clinic wait times in their own communities, recently crunched all of its numbers from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019 to provide a snapshot of averages across the country.
The newly-released Medimap Clinic Wait Time Index found that patients in Sidney, B.C. fared the worst in terms of time, spending an average of three hours per visit in the waiting room before seeing a doctor.
Seven of the 10 highest wait times in Canada are to be found in B.C., in fact, which has an average wait time of roughly 50 minutes.
Ontario, conversely, has an average wait time of just 25 minutes at walk-in clinics — though cities like Kingston, Barrie and Cambridge fell well outside the normal range with wait times of 77, 73 and 71 minutes respectively.
Within the GTA and the City of Toronto itself, rates tend to vary by as much as 17 minutes — which doesn't sound like a long time until you're sitting across from a crying baby while suffering from a migraine.
Here are the average wait times for Toronto's core neighbourhoods and boroughs, as calculated by Medimap's data team:
"The average waits in the Downtown area are almost 40 per cent higher than the West End or Scarborough," notes Medimap, which pulls wait time data for 70 per cent of all walk-in clinics in Canada every 30 minutes.
In the Greater Toronto Area, wait times were found to be longest in Whitby at 34 minutes, followed by Newmarket (27 minutes,) Aurora (24 minutes,) Milton (24 minutes,) and Brampton (18 minutes.)
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