Nov 20, 2013
By AM740 Staff
Emergency room overcrowding is the focus of a report by The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. The group says overcrowding is caused not by inappropriate use or patients without a family doctor but by a lack of hospital beds. The Association wants the federal government to set ER wait-time benchmarks, and report on how those targets are being met. Canada ranks 33rd out of 34 in a 2009 study of acute-care bed availability in countries belonging to the OECD with only 1.7 beds for every one thousand Canadians. The Association says the consequences of ER overcrowding can be severe even leading to higher death rates among people seeking emergency medical attention.