Why so long? Medical procedure wait times are growing longer while patients are left suffering.

Adriaan Damme, a 57-year-old resident of Calgary, has been suffering from excruciating back pain and has had two herniated discs in the lower back for more than a year.
 Despite repeated visits to his medical practitioner and sessions with experts, he is still on a lengthy waiting list for surgery. This situation underscores a larger concern in the Canadian healthcare system with excessive wait periods for elective surgery.
“During my first surgery, I went to the emergency ward and waited for over eight hours, lying on my back on the floor. I was lucky enough that I had the right doctor, and my surgery was scheduled within two weeks,” said Adriaan Damme, a patient suffering from herniated discs in the lower back.
The need for surgical treatments has increased, owing to an older population and the growing frequency of chronic conditions. However, the availability of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nursing personnel has not kept up. Training new experts takes years, and Canada's healthcare system struggles to fill openings.

The wardrobe is filled with pills, which Adriaan Damme consumes for back pain. Adrianne is waiting for his back surgery. The MRI was scheduled in December 2024 in Calgary on Sunday, June 30, 2024. (Photo by Pankaj Singla/The Press)

“I take 30 pills of Gabapentin Duloxetine and anti-inflammatories every day for relief which makes me feel groggy and dizzy.  MRI is scheduled for December, which was booked in March 2024,” said Damme.​​​​​​​
Extensive wait periods of operations for painful ailments or serious illnesses can impact the health and quality of life. In rare cases, delays might cause complications that turn treatable health problems into catastrophic situations.
Due to the increasing population in Canada and the issues of a stressed healthcare system, stories like Adriann Damme's reflect the tenacity and drive of those suffering hardship. His experience serves as a reminder of the value of prompt medical attention and the enormous effect it may have on people's lives.
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