Workplace Absenteeism Impacted by Canada’s Surgical Wait Times Costs the Canadian Economy Billions Each Year
Increasingly, Canadian employers are seeing the impact of their country’s long wait for healthcare treatment. In addition to witnessing poorer medical outcomes, employees may be coming to work stressed and in pain. In extreme cases, employees who had potentially curable illnesses and injuries might now be facing irreversible chronic conditions or even permanent disabilities.
In 2021, Canadians faced an average waiting time of 25.6 weeks between referral from a general practitioner to receipt of treatment. A new report from the Fraser Institute states that this year’s wait time is the longest recorded in the survey’s history: 175% longer than in 1993, when the average wait time was just 9.3 weeks.
Disturbing stories about the dire implications of surgical wait times are
increasingly the norm, directly linked to missed workdays caused by intolerable pain. In May 2020, one patient suffering from hip pain was sent for an MRI. She learned she had both a fibril tear in her hip and a cyst. In excruciating pain, she visited a hip and knee clinic in Alberta. She was told she faced a 15-month wait for surgery. Two years later, the patient had yet to hear back from the clinic. Ultimately, she arranged for surgery outside of Canada.
Effects from employee absenteeism are wide-ranging and vastly damaging in the workplace, impacting productivity, finance and overall morale. Of course, impact varies based on a company’s size. For example, a smaller software agency with one or two developers will feel the impact of an absence more than a mid-to-large-size agency with several developers on staff, since they can more easily cover the absent employee’s workload.
No matter an organisation’s size, all companies feel the effects of absenteeism, including:
• Decreased Productivity: One employee’s absence impacts the entire team’s
productivity. Remaining team members have to cover the absent employee’s work, as well as keep current on their own workload.
• Disrupted Timelines: Meetings have to be rescheduled, timelines adjusted.
• Financial Loss for the Company: A British statistics firm recently estimated the cost of employee absence per year, per employee is more than $850 CAD.
“Increasingly, Canadian employers are seeking supplemental policies to facilitate more expeditious treatment for their workers and thus cut down on employee absenteeism,” comments Gino Stirpe, Director of VUMI® Canada. “Employers are looking for companies who offer a comprehensive network with top-notch providers, and one where their staff will have access to VIP service.”
Source: Statistics Canada/Global News April 21, 2022