Weight Loss Surgery Wait Times in Nova Scotia Continue to Increase

Can you imagine having to wait for a decade to have a procedure that could potentially improve your quality of life?

In a recent story featured on CBC News, individuals living with obesity in Nova Scotia are having to wait 8 years or more to have bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized obesity as one of the most deadly diseases in the world. In 2016, over 1.9 billion adults were overweight, with 650 million of these people being considered obese. This number only continues to grow as the years go on.[1]

“Obesity is a disease,” says Dr. Thomas Ransom, the medical director of Nova Scotia’s weight loss surgical program, “and one that leads to many complicating conditions that are expensive to treat including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, fatty liver disease, hip and joint issues, infertility, obstructive sleep apnea and depression.”

According to WHO, the worldwide prevalence of obesity almost tripled between 1975 and 2016.

Weight Loss Surgery Wait Times in Canada

So why do people living with obesity have to wait so long for a surgery that could make a positive impact on their overall health?

The wait times across Canada for bariatric surgery are not much better than Nova Scotia. According to Obesity Canada’s Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatments for Adults in Canada 2019, in Ontario, patients have to wait up to 2 years just to get a referral to a medical program offering these procedures. After the initial consultation, they can expect to wait another 6 months to a year before finally having surgery. In total, that’s almost 3 years of waiting.[2]

It isn’t much better on the west side of Canada, either. In British Columbia, patients will wait up to 2 years between the doctor’s referral and a consultation with a surgeon, and following that will wait up to another year just to have the procedure performed. Again, a total wait time of up to 3 years or more.

According to the article, these long wait times can be attributed to a lack of funding for operating time in the public health sector. In Nova Scotia, there’s enough funding to perform just 60-80 surgeries each year; however, there are 1800 people waiting for a consultation and, if they are successful candidates for it, surgery.[3]

That’s not all – according to Dr. Ransom, it would take between 22 and 30 years just to clear the backlog entirely, should all 1800 of these people be successful candidates for surgery (however, the Nova Scotia Health Department and the health authority caution that not all will be).

So how can SmartShape Weight Loss Centre help?

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre is a Canadian clinic that offers safe, effective weight loss procedures with wait times of just 4-6 weeks after an initial consultation with one of our surgeons.

SmartShape has helped over 6,000 patients  improve their quality of life and achieve sustained weight loss since the clinic opened in 2005, and continues to be the leading provider of proven weight loss programs  in Canada.

Our fully-qualified surgeons perform three life-changing procedures:

We also provide LAP-BAND® adjustments for our patients who had their surgery at SmartShape.

Learn more about what we can offer you by speaking with one of our specialists at (888) 278-7952 or using our online form to request a consultation.

[1] “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization, www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.

[2] Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatments for Adults in Canada 2019. Obesity Canada, 2019, obesitycanada.ca/content/uploads/2019/05/OC-Report-Card-2019-English-Final.pdf.

[3] “Nova Scotians Are Waiting More than Eight Years for Weight-Loss Surgery | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 17 June 2019, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/weight-loss-surgery-wait-list-1.5173642.