I was struck by the laudatory tone of the article in the Toronto Star (Hospital drastically cuts ER wait times
Published on Wednesday January 23, 2013) on the reduction of ER wait times in that city.
The staff should certainly be recognized for their innovation and improvements in wait times for non urgent problems
Unfortunately the article fails to put sufficient weight on the misery inflicted on patients waiting for admission
There are in fact two waits in the er: those in the waiting room and the sick elderly waiting in noisy brightly lit hallways on uncomfortable gurneys for a bed to become available on the ward
These are our most vulnerable patients and their wait is associated with increased risk of complications, death and costs to the system
A wait of 27.5 hours for admission is unacceptable bordering on disgraceful
When that wait has been solved there will be much to praise; until then I would hold the applause.
Unpublished Letter to the Editor