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quebec emergency room

"If you need emergency medical care in Quebec, you'd better learn to be patient," says economist Emmanuelle B. Faubert. Her new study for the Montreal Economic Institute on wait times in Quebec ERs reveals a worsening situation across the province.

According to the analysis, the median duration of stay for a patient in an emergency room was five hours and 11 minutes in 2022.

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Quebec is facing an overcrowding crisis in its ERs. Outbreaks of the flu and RSV, coupled with the continuing circulation of COVID-19, threaten to make the situation in Quebec hospital emergency departments even worse.

In recent weeks, a Health Ministry crisis unit has put in place measures aimed at driving Quebecers away from ERs and towards alternative services. Now, officials are taking a step to free up space in emergency departments, themselves: new hospital teams whose job it is to make sure people who don't need to be there get out as quickly as possible.

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Quebec's Ministry of Health (MSSS) has confirmed to MTL Blog that officials have launched an internal investigation into the death of a patient following a 16-hour hospital wait. A doctor at the Montérégie region's Barrie Memorial Hospital took to Twitter to share that patient's story, sparking outcry as many of the province's emergency rooms exceed capacity.

The ministry outlined the steps it's taking to address high Quebec emergency room occupancy and wait times. The first is to encourage Quebecers to seek alternative care if possible.

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A Quebec doctor took to Twitter Saturday morning to share the story of a patient who he says died in his care after unsuccessfully waiting 16 hours in another hospital. Radio-Canada was the first to report on the doctor's account.

"I ended my night on a patient who died in front of me," Dr. Sébastien Marin of the Montérégie region's Barrie Memorial Hospital wrote. He identified the cause of death as a ruptured thoracic aorta.

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