A New Tool Shows Exact Waiting Times For Quebec Emergency Rooms So You Can Plan Your Visit

It doesn't necessarily make those wait times any shorter, though.

Staff Writer
Public Health Minister Christian Dubé. Right: An emergency room sign in Montreal.

Public Health Minister Christian Dubé. Right: An emergency room sign in Montreal.

Quebec's public health officials have announced a new information tool that will display seven key indicators to citizens hoping to receive care in the emergency care system. The new tool, announced on January 31, will show users exact wait times for Quebec's emergency rooms alongside six other key indicators for patients. Five of the seven indicators are already publicly available at Québec.ca/SituationUrgences.

"Our new information tool will make it possible to better identify the alternatives available and to offer the population an even more accurate picture of the state, in real-time, of our health and social services network," Public Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a recent press release.

"We are committed to continuing to work with the entire system to reduce the pressure on our emergency departments while increasing their capacity," Dubé continued.

One of the primary goals of the new tool is to keep Quebecers apprised of the alternatives to emergency care, in the hopes of reducing the pressure on an already over-taxed system. These alternatives include "making an appointment with a health professional or calling 811," per the press release.

We can also expect to see more accurate data describing the actual occupancy of emergency departments across the province, a type of information that has previously been unavailable to the public.

In the new tool, patients will be able to see each emergency department's total current occupancy, the number of people waiting to see a doctor, the average length of stay for the waiting room, and the average length of stay for a patient on a stretcher.

The government also foresees including physician wait time in a few weeks as an additional indicator, as well as the wait time for calling 811. Since the tool is still in its early stages, Quebecers should expect to see improved accuracy in future months.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.