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

ER Crowding in Saskatchewan: A Laudable Effort

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Laudable effort

There can be no argument that overcrowded hospitals and the resultant emergency department congestion can have tragic consequences.

It has long been established that ER crowding is a result of insufficient hospital bed capacity and poor chronic disease management. Equally, it is now proven that a crowded ER is not only a matter of inconvenience, but is associated with increased costs

to the health-care system, increased medical complications and an unacceptably increased risk of death.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the government of Saskatchewan has acknowledged the problem and the unacceptable risk and has made a formal commitment to address and hopefully resolve the problem.

Recently, representatives of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians met in Regina to review Saskatchewan’s plan to reduce ER crowding. We believe the government has the right people in place and a good plan.

Nobody is expecting miracles and it will be difficult to resolve a decades-long problem in a couple of political terms. Nevertheless, the Saskatchewan government should be commended for its commitment and its efforts to date.

Alan Drummond Chair, public affairs Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Ottawa

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