11/20/10

Are minor complaints clogging up our hospital ERs?

The Ontario government has probably spent millions on advertisements suggesting people use family health teams, urgent care centres, telehealth or just about anywhere except a hospital emergency room to get treatment for less serious medical problems. 

So it is interesting to see Dr. Peter Toth, president of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, say this about patients that could be treated elsewhere showing up at hospital ERs:  “These are extremely minor contributors to the problem (of overcrowded ERs), and they serve to take focus away from the root cause, which is hospitals are currently running at capacity of 100 per cent. Because of the overcapacity of the hospital, the backflow of its admitted [serious] patients happens in the emergency department, reducing our access to emergency patients.”

The ER back ups are caused by overflowing hospitals and very high bed occupancy.  It is that problem that the government has got to solve, not stopping patients going to ERs.

dallan@cupe.ca

No comments:

Post a Comment