VANCOUVER, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Waiting for medically necessary surgeries cost the Canadian economy 1.1 billion Canadian dollars in lost workplace productivity in 2013, or an average of 1,202 per patients, shows a new study released by an independent public policy think tank.
The study by Fraser Institute calculates the average value of time lost during the work week for each of the estimated 928,120 patients waiting for surgery in Canada last year.
When calculations take into account hours outside the work week- - evenings and weekends, excluding eight hours of sleep per night, the estimated cost of waiting hikes from 1.1 billion to 3.4 billion across the country, an average of 3,681 per patient, the study showed.
"The negative impact of wait times on the productivity of patients and their ability to participate fully in life is an issue too often ignored in the health care debate," said Nadeem Esmail, study author and Fraser Institute director of health policy studies.
"Reduced productivity in the workplace, or reduced ability to engage with family and friends, may impact family outcome and increase stress for Canadian patients," he added.
Esmail, therefore, urged Canada to allow more private sector to participate in the provision of health care so as to save the money and relieve patients' pain.
For British Columbian patients, they had to wait a median 10.4 weeks for treatment after their first appointment with a specialist last year, compared to 9.6 weeks across Canada, the study showed.