Emergency room doctors in Victoria say understaffing is putting patients at risk. ((CBC))

There will be more emergency room doctors at 19 B.C. hospitals under a new deal reached on Wednesday between the provincial government and the B.C. Medical Association.

A $6-million funding increase will be spent to create the equivalent of 10.6 full-time emergency physician positions across the province.

Another $6 million will be spent on incentives to improve emergency room efficiencies, according to B.C. Minister of Health Services Kevin Falcon.

The minister said he's pleased with the level of co-operation on both sides that led to the deal.

"What really broke the stalemate was the fact that we looked at the doctors, the model they put together, determined what should the staffing levels be at certain emergency departments based on what kind of volume they're doing and what kinds of patients they're getting. And we got to a point where we could all agree that this is a fair and appropriate allocation of additional resources." 

Falcon said other similar pilot incentive projects on the Lower Mainland have already reduced emergency room wait times by 25 per cent and he believes the deal will decrease wait times.