Canadians deserve the very best in emergency care . Let's work to restore their confidence in the emergency health care system.

Month: December 2012

Emergency Department Wait Time Benchmarks: Why the Delay?

An Alberta emergency physician who raised public concern two years ago over the sad state of affairs in Alberta’s emergency departments has again gone public with his concerns with a delay in achieving target wait times for ER care. Desirable target times for ER waits have been suggested and promoted by Canada’s emergency physicians since… Read More ›

Physician Assistants in Canadian Emergency Departments: Not only Time but Long Overdue

A recent news story highlighted the hiring of two Physician Assistants in the Brantford, Ontario emergency department. Though a welcome announcement, in my view, it shouldn’t be news. This should be an every day, routine occurrence recognizing the very important role that PAs have to play in the average Canadian emergency department. Human resources shortages… Read More ›

Wait Times in Canadian Emergency Departments (2004): Still waiting for change

In 2004, I was approached by Health Canada to prepare a discusssion paper on wait times in Canadian emergency departments. The report never saw the light of day. Eight years later, on review of the paper, I was struck by the realization that many of my comments from that galaxy far, far away were still… Read More ›

Regionalization of Rural Canadian Emergency Departments: Time for a National Discussion

The Imperative: The regionalization of Canadian emergency departments is an inevitable fact of our collective future by default not design. A collective governmental failure in effective health care planning has led to human resources shortages that continue to impact on our ability to provide universally accessible and timely services to our citizens. A relative (or… Read More ›

The Clarion Call for National Emergency Department Standards

The emergency department is a major point of access to health care for all Canadians. Fourteen million Canadians visit the emergency department (ED) on an annual basis but for many, regrettably, their visit to the emergency department is an unsatisfactory experience. Being the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine’, the problems and pressures that beset… Read More ›

Gun Control and Canada’s emergency physicians

In light of today’s tragedy in Connecticut it seems like a good idea to restate the position of Canada’s emergency physicians with respect to Gun Control in Canada. The following statement was made in response to the threat to dismantle Bill C-68, the Gun Control Bill, which we had worked extremely hard to see passed… Read More ›

Emergency Advocacy: Lift the Cone of Silence

I was struck by a recent National Post article on the suspension of two Toronto paramedics who publically criticized senior EMS management. This is not foreign in the emergency medicine world. I remember only too well the 2004 firing of an emergency department director in Saskatoon for his declaration that “we have not had children… Read More ›

ER Crowding Kills

In a recent Annals of Emergency Medicine, Benjamin Sun reported on the “The Effect of Emergency Department Crowding on Outcomes of Admitted Patients”.  It was reported in the popular press as “ER Crowding Kills”. Perhaps a sensational headline but perhaps it is time that we called ED crowding for what it is, an unacceptable danger to… Read More ›

ED wait times in Canada: Is CIHI right?

On Thursday, the Canadian Institute of Health Information released their seventh annual report on wait times. The Press were quick to point out the “bad” news that Canada has the longest ER wait times among the top eleven developed nations. They pointed out that “about one in 10 patients seeking emergency care here will wait eight… Read More ›