Got an urgent medical problem? If you visit an emergency room in western Quebec's Outaouais region, prepare to wait an average of 20 hours and 42 minutes before being discharged or admitted to another ward in the hospital.
According to data compiled by the Le Comité de coordination national des urgences (CCNU), which works with emergency wards across the province, the average wait time in the Outaouais is four hours above the provincial average and two hours longer than last year. In addition, the data does not include the time spent waiting before seeing a doctor.
The data was published Wednesday in the GESCA newspaper chain, as part of its third annual rankings of Quebec hospitals.
The longest wait times in the region were at the Gatineau campus of the Gatineau hospital, where the average wait time was 25 hours.
Guy Morisette, head of the Outaouais health agency, told CBC News that the hospital has worked hard to fix the situation, but recruiting and retaining enough staff remains a problem, and additional solutions such as training personnel and developing new programs are longer-term efforts.
"It takes time before you see results," he said, adding that he expects to see things change gradually. "What I would say is I'm sure that the situation is going to improve within months."
|Hospital||Average ER Wait Time|
|Buckingham||20 h 30 min|
|Gatineau Hospital-Hull campus||20 h 06 min|
|Gatineau Hospital-Gatineau campus||25 h 36 min|
|Gatineau-Memorial||17 h 00 min|
|Maniwaki||10 h 24 min|
|Pontiac||13 h 12 min|
|Outaouais average||20 h 42 min|
|16 h 30 min|