Report: Most ER Visits in BC Took 8.4 Hours in 2016-2017

an entrance sign of an emergency roomIf you waited too long for treatment in an emergency room in British Columbia, you were among many others who spent longer wait times in the province, according to a Canadian Institute for Health Information report.

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, 90% of ER patients in the region had to wait for 8.4 hours for complete treatment. The national average in the same period reached 7.8 hours.

Alternative Facilities

While the province already has long wait times, patients in other regions wait even longer. In Manitoba, ER visits took 11.9 hours for complete treatment among 90% of patients, while the same percentage in Saskatchewan had to wait for 10.1 hours. Yukon recorded one of the shortest wait times at 4.3 hours.

Given the long waiting time in ER facilities, it may be prudent to consider alternative facilities, such as walk-in clinics, where patients can see family doctors. In Vancouver, you may also need to wait long for an ambulance. At least five high-priority patients each day wait for almost an hour.

Ambulatory Care

British Columbia’s emergency response team handled more Code 3 patients in Metro Vancouver during the previous winter, with nearly 11 patients each day. While Code 3 patients only account for a few of overall ambulance calls, these requests require the most immediate assistance.

In the 12 months to October, more than 2,000 Code 3 patients waited too long for help. These calls involved people who suffered a stroke and cardiac arrest, among other life-threatening conditions.

The primary reason for the long waiting times for ER treatment and ambulance involves a growing demand for healthcare in Canada. This will require patients to consider other facilities for urgent care, although the government and private sector need to address the issue of fewer resources and manpower.