NEWS

Hip replacement wait time doubles for Campbell River man

07/17/2015 11:03 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT
A Vancouver Island man says he's waited more than a year for a new hip, despite provincial guidelines saying no one should wait for more than 26 weeks for the replacement surgery.

Calloway Roller says his hip problems are so bad that he hasn't been able to work for months and has to take high doses of OxyContin to numb the pain.

"I'm in constant pain. It's 24 hours a day," he says. 

The 61-year-old says he went to his doctor a year ago about the pain and says he was told his hip replacement surgery would take place in Campbell River, B.C. this past June. 

But when the surgery date got close, he says his surgeon's office told him the procedure had been rescheduled to later this fall.  

"They told me that's just how the system is working right now and, you know, just sit tight and wait," he says. 

Serious backlog, says Island Health

Island Health officials say under the province's guidelines no one should wait more than 26 weeks for a hip replacement, but admit the median wait time is now 35 weeks due to a serious backlog.

Valerie Wilson, a spokeswoman for Island Health, said if patients are concerned about the length of their wait time, they're encouraged to contact their family physician who may be able to refer them to another physician with shorter wait times.

"If a patient's health status changes or pain level increases while waiting for surgery, we urge them to contact their family physician or surgical specialist for reassessment to ensure that they continue to be prioritized appropriately," she said in an email.

She added that not all surgeons have the same wait time, as some may choose to work fewer hours or have a higher volume of patients. 

Still, Roller says he's already waited for a year to get the surgery and now wants Island Health to move up his surgery date or pay for him to get the surgery done elsewhere. 

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