Quebec’s emergency rooms are bursting at the seams, especially in Montreal and the Outaouais, despite some $60 million spent last year by the Liberal government to relieve pressure on hospitals’ front lines, according to an annual report on health care.
For the second year in a row, Montreal newspaper La Presse rated admission times at Quebec hospitals and found the average time to be admitted to hospital through an emergency room is 16 hours and 18 minutes, about 30 minutes longer than two years ago.
The average exceeds Quebec’s target wait time of 12 hours, established by Jean Charest’s Liberal government in its last mandate.
The survey found only one-third of Quebec’s hospitals managed to keep their averages under that limit.
And Montreal hospitals fared poorly compared to regional health centres. While hospitals in Lanaudière, Montérégie and the Lower Saint-Lawrence reported improvements in wait times, Montreal emergency rooms can’t keep up with demand.
The hardest-hit was the Université de Montréal Health Centre (CHUM), which finished dead last in the report, with an average 29-hour wait time for emergency admission.