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These Are The Montreal ERs Where The Most People 'Give Up' & Leave Without Seeing A Doctor

Over 1,000 people per day leave ERs without ever seeing a doctor, according to a study.
Staff Writer
These Are The Montreal ERs Where The Most People 'Give Up' & Leave Without Seeing A Doctor
  • A new study lists the Montreal ERs where people are "most likely to give up" and leave without ever seeing a doctor.
  • The study underlines the issue of overcrowding in ERs across Quebec.
  • Though some regions fare better than others.

In 2019, nearly 380,000 Quebecers left the hospital ER without seeing a doctor. That amounts to over 1,000 people per day, according to the latest data from MEI Montreal. The study points to the enormous challenge in Quebec hospitals to meet demand in their emergency rooms. The problem is particularly acute in Montreal ERs.

The study authors paint a grim portrait of the state of ERs in the province: "the general situation leaves much to be desired: No emergency room in Quebec manages to respond to patients’ demand for care."

Overcrowding in Quebec ERs is well documented. In December 2019, Index Santé reported that 106% of Montreal hospital waiting rooms are overcapacity.

The situation was even worse in the regions, such as the Laurentians and Montérégie, reporting 135% and 129% overcrowding, respectively. 

As of April 22, 2020, however, 65% of Quebec hospitals are operating at normal capacity. Though the Index does not say whether the current situation has had an effect.

When it comes to visitors' ability to see a doctor, MEI Montreal writes that "the portion of the province located north or east of Quebec City generally fares better than the western part of the province, except for the North Shore." 

It's in more "urban regions" of the province such as Montreal, Quebec City, and Outaouais where, in the words of the study authors, "patients are most likely to give up and go home."


  • The proportion of patients leaving the ER before seeing a doctor: 10.2% (1 out of 10) 

The following five hospitals on the island see the highest rate of patients leaving the ER before seeing a doctor: 

  • Notre-Dame Hospital (17.4% or 1 out of 6) 

  • CHUM (16.3% or 1 out of 6) 

  • LaSalle Hospital (15.3% or 1 out of 7) 

  • Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (13.7% or 1 out of 7)

  • Royal Victoria Hospital (12.5% or 1 out of 8) 

READ ALSO: This Is What The Case Count By Neighbourhood Looks Like For Montreal Right Now


The following areas fare the worst overall in terms of patients leaving the ER before they see a doctor, according to the study: 

  • Laurentians (18% or 1 out of 6) 

  • Outaouais (15.8% or 1 out of 6) 

  • Montérégie (14.3% or 1 out of 7) 

  • North Shore (14.2% or 1 out of 7) 

  • Lanaudière (12.5% or 1 out of 8) 

The authors of the study underlined that these statistics aren't meant to be an indictment of the quality of service in each region or hospital. 

"The ways to alleviate these chronic problems are known," they write. 

"A reduction of professional and regulatory barriers, a better alignment of incentives with patients’ needs, and a general improvement of the performance and the efficiency of our health care system."

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