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ER crowding in Quebec

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December 9, 2016

The Quebec Health Minister recently announced a funding increase of $100 million dollars to address hospital bed capacity issues in the provinces hospitals.  This was reported in the Montreal Gazette. The Gazette has an annoying practice of not publishing letters to the editor on-line so unless one is a Montrealer on the island, one never knows… Read More ›

ER Crowding and the Spin Doctors

Kelly Grant’s superb Globe and Mail article on ER crowding clearly made the connection between hospital overcrowding leading to dangerous backlogs in the ER.   When hospitals operate at a comfortable 85% bed occupancy rate, crowding doesn’t exist but is a given when occupancy rates exceed 95%.   Most city hospitals in Ontario now function at… Read More ›

Since when does a bigger ER mean a shorter wait time?

Propagating the myth that ER crowding is a result of overutilization of the department by patients with non-urgent illness, a common governmental refrain is “we will build a bigger ER and patients will have less time to wait”.  This is of course complete nonsense.  ER crowding is a reflection of hospital crowding, not an onslaught… Read More ›

Patient Safety and Canadian Hospitals – And what of the emergency patient?

A recent report, published in the Globe and Mail, outlined some of the patient risks associated with hospital care in Canada. Perhaps unsurprisingly there was no comment with respect to the dangers to patient safety of overcrowded emergency departments. Below is my letter to the editor of the Globe. It is both sad and telling that… Read More ›

The Health Care Accord and ER Crowding

The recent discussions about the Health Care Accord, System Transformation and Greater Accountability have curiously been a lot about money and little about the issues that actually matter. Below is a letter I wrote to the National Post, which wasn’t published but nevertheless could be used by anybody with an interest in Crowding and the Accord…. Read More ›

Manitoba ER election promises

ER election promises We simply do not know whether we should laugh or cry at the recent pronouncements of the political parties vying for power in Manitoba. The NDP claims it has addressed the problem of ER crowding by making walk-in clinics more available. It conveniently chooses to ignore the overwhelming science that suggests ER crowding is a… Read More ›

Should the CEC model be introduced in Ontario?

We disagree strongly with the comments of Willi Kirenko with respect to the advisability of introducing the Nova Scotia model of rural emergency care delivery to Ontario. The Collaborative Emergency Centre Model of Nova Scotia in which nurses and paramedics provide after  hours emergency care in rural areas is both illusory and deceitful. “Emergency care”… Read More ›

Home Care and its impact on ER crowding

Every Canadian despairs at the thought of going to the ER.  Not only are they sick, anxious and in pain but their misery will be compounded by the entrenched unconscionable wait for care. The root of the problem lies not with overutilization by patients with minor illness but by the failure to deliver on the promise of healthier… Read More ›

Variability in Rural Emergency Care

If you’re in a rural area and in need of emergency care, you’re better off in Quebec than Ontario or B.C.: study Tom Blackwell | May 4, 2015 4:04 PM ETNational Post Lars Hagberg for National PostFile: A girl’s hand is bandaged at Perth Great War Memorial and Smith Falls District hospital in Perth, Ontario. Rural… Read More ›

ER Crowding in Saskatchewan: A Laudable Effort

Laudable effort By Alan Drummond, The Starphoenix May 13, 2015 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… Read More ›