ER Wait Times and Healthcare in BC

June 9, 2023

Leger surveyed British Columbians from June 2 to 5, 2023, to explore their perspectives on ER wait times and healthcare in BC.


  • British Columbians are split on if the BC healthcare system is in good/very good (50%) or poor/very poor (46%) shape. Ratings are significantly worse in rural areas (58% poor/very poor) than urban (42%) or suburban (47%) areas.
  • Over one third (36%) of BC residents have visited the ER in the past 6 months. 28% of those visits are due to high wait times at medical clinics or not having a family doctor.
  • Among those who have visited an ER in the last 12 months, 43% rate the ER wait time before they saw a doctor as good/very good, while 55% rate it poor/very poor.   
  • 39% of British Columbians would consider travelling outside of Canada for medical treatment, 26% might consider it and 35% would not.


  • 1,000 residents of British Columbia aged 18 or older were surveyed online using Leger’s online panel, LEO, from June 2 to 5, 2023. 
  • Using data from the 2021 Census, results were weighted according to, age, gender, region, education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative sample of the population in British Columbia.  
  • No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample.  However, for comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1,000 respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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