Health care officials in Sudbury are working on a cure for the city's ailing emergency room.

Wait times at the Health Sciences North emerge are over provincial targets and have gotten worse in recent months.

Members of the health care community met Wednesday night to discuss some short-term solutions.


Dr. Peter Zalan, president of the medical staff at Health Sciences North, said meeting the needs of an aging population is a top priority.

Dr. Peter Zalan, the president of the medical staff at Health Sciences North, said he hopes the province can chip in some money for more homecare and physiotherapists. That would allow elderly patients to go home earlier and free up beds in the hospital.

"We'd feel more confident letting people go home a little sooner if we know the day they go home they start receiving physiotherapy at home," he said.

Zalan noted the provincial budget calls for more funding for community based care, and he is hopeful the needed money will come out of that.

The Wednesday night meeting also produced other ideas about how to curb wait times in the city's emergency room.

Zalan said the hospital will consider keeping certain departments open on weekends, a move that could clear out beds to be used by patients waiting in emergency.

"Say, for example, you're a patient and you come and in you need some testing to be done and you come in on a Friday," Zalan said. "Some of that testing can't be done over the weekend and then you have to wait until Monday."

Zalan said nine ideas were presented at the meeting, but he could not say when they will come into effect.