No improvements in Quebec ER wait times: new study

By News Staff

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) published a study on Monday detailing how emergency room wait times in Quebec hospitals have not improved.

The average wait time for a patient visiting the ER in 2023-2024 was five hours and 13 minutes.

“This year again, Quebec patients have had to be patient indeed, with emergency room visits taking over five hours,” says Emmanuelle B. Faubert, economist at the MEI and author of the study. “While the situation is similar to what it was the previous year, that doesn’t make it any more acceptable.”

The average stay in Quebec emergency rooms rose by two minutes compared to the previous ranking and over the past five years, the total increase has been 42 minutes.

“Nearly 10,000 people visit hospital emergency rooms in Quebec every day. The provincial government has made many promises and launched numerous reforms in recent decades aiming to reduce wait times, but emergency rooms are as overcrowded as ever.”

The longest emergency room stays in Quebec are in the Laurentians at seven hours and 18 minutes, the Lanaudière with six hours and 56 minutes, and Laval at six hours and 53 minutes.

According to the MEI findings, the Anna-Laberge Hospital in Châteauguay had the longest wait time in Quebec, with an average of 13 hours and 4 minutes this year.

Faubert explained that the government announced several projects that have the potential to improve these situations.

“First, there is the independent mini-hospitals project promised by the CAQ. Second, specialized nurse clinics are another way to reduce pressure on the hospital system by providing a new access point for primary care.”

Faubert says the Quebec government plans to open 23 specialized nurse clinics by 2028 – which she explains will be a beneficial approach both for patients and for nurses who do not want to work in the hospital system.

For more on the study, click here.

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