Winnipeg health officials are promising to reduce wait times in the city's emergency rooms.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said on Tuesday that it's implementing a plan to shorten wait times, admitting that current wait times were too long.

The new plan aims to have emergency room patients treated and discharged within four hours.

Last year, only 33 per cent of non-admitted patients were treated and discharged within that time span.

The plan also calls for patients who need to be admitted to have hospital beds secured within eight hours. Currently, only 51 per cent of those patients are being admitted in the eight-hour timeframe.

WRHA chief executive officer Arlene Wilgosh said a review of other cities showed Winnipeg has to improve its wait times.

"We think we can provide better service to patients," she said. "So we're embarking on these targets."

Wilgosh said the WRHA hopes to accomplish this by adding more nurse practitioners to deal with non-emergency cases. In 2012, non-emergency patients accounted for 45 per cent of all emergency department visits.

Negotiations are also in place for family doctors to see patients after-hours to avoid reliance on emergency rooms.

"We’re going to start as soon as possible," said Wilgosh. "We're looking to have them fully implemented by 2015."