Long BC Wait Times for Wheelchairs Under Scrutiny, Needs to be Reduced

An interesting article was published recently by CBC News highlighting the long wait times for wheelchairs for mobility aid users. The current average wait time for a medical device, according to The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is 46 days. However, mobility users have suggested it can take much longer.

Red tape often encumbers people with disabilities quite often and waiting month for assessment appointments and ministry approval is \”so common it\’s kind of beyond complaint,\” says Jeanne Morton from the BC Cerebral Palsy Association.

The Ministry, who is responsible for disability assistance, committed in February to review access to wheelchairs and other aids. The issue is not only with new wheelchairs or mobility devices but also for replacement devices when a wheelchair needs to be repaired or is broken. This can cause excess costs to the individual if they need to rent a wheelchair or if they can\’t find the funds to do this, they face the risk of being restricted in terms of mobility until a new mobility device is provided.

Community Ventures Society (CVS) would welcome shortened wait times for mobility devices and encourages the Ministry to make this a priority to enable mobility for individuals with disabilities.