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68% of Canadians skip seeing a doctor due to long wait times, timeliness and other barriers

June 28, 2018 • read

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68% of Canadians skip seeing a doctor due to long wait times, timeliness and other barriers

You most likely called your family doctor’s office to book an appointment or visited a walk-in clinic, but how long did you wait to see your doctor?

Think about the last time you visited the doctor’s office, let’s say, for a really bad case of the flu. You most likely called your family doctor’s office to book an appointment or visited a walk-in clinic, but how long did you wait to see your doctor?

Maple found that 20% of Canadians waited seven or more days to see a family physician. Whether you belonged to this group, or were part of the 43% of Canadians who received same or next day treatment, consider the time it took to commute to the doctor’s office, and the amount of time you spent sitting in the waiting room.

The time spent waiting to see a physician typically outweighs the time spent with the physician. Waiting to see a doctor while congested, feverish, or in a general state of malaise is not the most comfortable activity, especially when all you want to do is recover quickly and get back to your regular routine.

Take the story of Rosa for example

Rosa, is a single working mom who, fortunately, has a very strong immune system. But one morning in early May, Rosa woke up to find herself constantly sneezing, and with a runny nose. She found her sneezing strange, but assumed that it may have been caused by the extra dust in her room and thought nothing of it.

As usual, she woke up her daughter, prepared a wholesome breakfast, dropped her daughter off at school, and headed to her bakery which she opened a year ago.

That entire morning Rosa was interrupted from her routine by sneezing spells and having to constantly blow her nose. Rosa knew she couldn’t bake if this continued— it’s unsanitary.

She ended up googling her symptoms and was presented with a seemingly-endless list of possible ailments, leaving her unsure of exactly what was wrong.

As a last resort, she called her family doctor’s office with hopes of booking an appointment for the afternoon or the next day. The receptionist told Rosa that there was no availability until the next week! She had no other choice but to take the next available slot.

For the rest of the week Rosa was miserable as she struggled to cope with her repetitive sneezing and a runny nose, all while trying to manage her bakery short staffed.

The following week Rosa took her morning off to go to her doctor appointment. She commuted for an hour to the clinic, waited for a half hour in the waiting room, and when she finally got to see her doctor, Rosa was diagnosed with seasonal allergies. Rosa was back to normal the next morning after taking her prescribed medication.

If you’re like Rosa, who had to wait for a long period of time to see a doctor for a common medical problem, just know that you’re not alone. There are many Canadians aware of the long wait times attached to seeing a doctor for minor medical concerns, and are beginning to scrap doctor visits all together.

Maple found that over half (68%) of Canadians skipped seeing a doctor for a variety of reasons

The most common reason being the wait time to see a doctor (42%), followed by:

  • 37% – Cannot get a timely appointment
  • 17% – The doctor isn’t in outside of work hours
  • 10% – Germ contamination in the waiting room
  • 10% – Physical barriers such as access to transportation or physical barriers that make it hard to see a doctor

No more skipping doctor visits! You no longer have to work sick because you can’t get a timely doctors appointment. All you need is your smartphone or a computer to access Maple and see a doctor in minutes.

Your health is important and so is how you receive care. Start prioritizing your health with accessible, convenient, and timely medical help that doesn’t come with the hassle of the clinic.


Maple: Our mission is to help people feel better faster, while empowering patients with more healthcare choice and control.


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