B.C. spends at least $27M at private clinics to catch up on surgical backlog

The B.C. government recently released just how high the public bill has been for the use of private clinics to catch up on its surgical backlog, a figure that has been on steady climb even before the pandemic. 

In 2015/2016, just $4.7 million went to private surgeries. The next year, the figure had more than tripled to $14.5 million. By 2019/20, it had reached $23 million. In 2020-21, B.C. spent $27 million.

According to BCHC research associate Andrew Longhurst, "It can become more difficult to reduce wait time in the medium- to long-term in the public system because you're actually moving those resources -- namely people, specialized health-care professionals – from public hospitals because you're trying to outcompete and pay them for shifts in for-profit clinics". 

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