Two new reports indicate that people in Atlantic Canada are waiting longer for health care than anywhere else in the country.

Nation-wide, the median wait time between a doctor's referral and actual treatment is 18.3 weeks - almost the same as last year's wait time and more than double the wait times from a generation ago.

While wait times have improved for hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and bypass surgeries, wait times for other procedures remain unacceptable, according to the reports.

If you need a medical care on the East Coast, it may takes months to even see the inside of a waiting room and it could cost you.

“There is absolutely an impact on an individual's health if you're having to wait,” says Angela Giles, of the Council of Canadians.

A high demand and a limited number of doctors are two major factors in the long wait.

“We also have an aging population,” says Giles.

The council of Canadians says the health accord between the federal and provincial governments, which expired in 2014, didn't take into account the region's population demographics in its funding model.

“We know that under the previous federal government, the equalization payments for the health care transfers got changed so that they’re per capita basis and we know Atlantic Canada has suffered because of that,” says Giles.

The time between seeing your general practitioner and a specialist is months, but those numbers jump when you factor in the time it takes to get treatment - 26.1 weeks in Nova Scotia, 42.8 weeks in New Brunswick, and 43.1 weeks in Prince Edward Island.

“We're full out on our diagnostic imaging and we’ve noticed also an increase there in terms of the time to get the scans and MRIs,” Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine. “So those are the areas that we certainly want to also address and to make sure that Nova Scotians are getting full access and as timely a service as possible.”

The problem isn't limited to specialists. Getting in to see your family doctor can also be a challenge. Four hundred doctors in Nova Scotia are retiring in the next decade, which means the province will have to hire between 500 and 600 new physicians in the next ten years.

“The notion of a quick 15 minute doctor’s visit is probably getting more to be the exception not the rule,” says Kevin Chapman, with Doctors Nova Scotia.

Longer visits with elderly patients and chronic conditions have put more demands on family physicians. While Doctors Nova Scotia wants more general practitioners, it’s also looking to take care of people differently.

“We can embrace technology, we can look at how we see patients,” says Chapman.

If you have an upcoming surgery, check out your wait time at, the site breaks down the time of a consult and surgery by hospital.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelly Linehan