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.
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