The Grand River Hospital is adding three doctors to its emergency department in an effort to combat lengthy wait times.

The 10 per cent of patients who had to wait the longest for non-acute emergency medical care at Grand River Hospital waited an average of six hours for an initial assessment by a doctor, according to new wait time data. That's double the provincial figure. 

One of the main causes is not enough staff in the emergency room, said Grand River Hospital CEO Malcolm Maxwell. 

"We think with the addition of three new emergency department physicians, it will help us make more progress this year," said Maxwell. 

The new hires should also help reduce wait times at neighbouring St. Mary's Hospital, Maxwell said, as the hospital shares a pool of emergency room physicians. 

Still, Maxwell says the public has a role to play when it comes to reducing wait times at their local emergency rooms. For less severe injuries and illnesses, he suggests finding help elsewhere.

"If they have the opportunity for a good contact with their nurse practitioner or a family doctor, that's usually good care for them," Maxwell said.