Wait times in Quebec E/R's can be very long indeed. There is a shortage of family doctors and specialists , so many use the E/R as access to the medical system. This is what medicare has wrought. Yet governments seem incapable of looking at other solutions like allowing more private care. Canadians and politicians need to stop thinking of healthcare as a religion.
This just in: Going to the emergency room is hazardous to your health. Not only do you have to worry about whatever afflictions may have brought you there in the first place, but also those you could pick up while you wait -- and wait, and wait.
That is the conclusion of a landmark paper authored by researchers at Dalhousie University, recently published in the international health-care journal BMJ Quality and Safety. According to the study, prolonged waits in the ER put patients at greater risk of suffering "adverse events," ranging from surgical complications, medication errors and c. difficile infections.
Among 982 otherwise healthy elderly patients tracked by the study, the risk of these incidents climbed by 3% for every hour spent in the ER. With average wait times of 20 hours in some provinces, this represents a substantial increase in mortality, not to mention an increase in system-wide pain, suffering and economic costs to the health-care system.