Nova Scotians frustrated with colonoscopy procedure wait times
HALIFAX -- People living in Nova Scotia waiting for a colonoscopy procedure, may have to wait a bit longer.
Wait times for the procedure – which detects colon cancer – are up to six months for those living in the Halifax area, according to the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Wait times are shorter in healthcare regions outside of central Nova Scotia.
NSHA admits some patients aren't receiving care quick enough.
"To have the option to prevent it is a positive thing in our medical care," says Linda House, who is waiting for a colonoscopy. "To not get timely prevention, is not."
Part of the problem, three gastroenterologists in the Halifax area recently retired, and those positions have only just been replaced.
"But you know, we're going to need these services more, and more, and it's concerning, it really is," said House.
Houses brother died from colon cancer, and ever since, she's had a colonoscopy every five years – as recommended – for early detection.
This time though, House has been waiting six-and-a-half years.
"I received a letter saying I'm on the waitlist, and here I wait," said House.
Carl Myers is also experiencing long wait times. Myers sister passed away from colon cancer, and since then, three of his siblings have also been diagnosed.
The last time Myers tried to book his procedure, it took a year for the initial consult.
"Then it was two years after that before I was scheduled for that appointment," explains Myers. "Luckily, there was a cancellation and I got in within a year."
Those without a family history of the disease can use a home screening test. If there's an abnormal result, a colonoscopy is supposed to happen within two months.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority says it's working on streamlining its waitlist system, and adding more resources to reduce delays.
They also plan to start rolling out a new booking system in the central region as soon as possible to try to address the problem.