Monday, November 22, 2010

ER Waiting Times

The November 17, 2010 National Post highlighted a growing problem of long waiting times in Canadian emergency rooms under their system of "universal health care".

Here's an excerpt from, "Wait Time Problems Continue to Fester":
Therese de Repentigny, 78, had still not been seen by a doctor for her pain-related complaints when she tried to climb off a gurney to go to the washroom and collapsed. Medical staff finally rushed to her aid, but it was too late, her family said. Within moments, they said, she was dead...

A Quebec patients' group said Wednesday that such waits are anything but uncommon. In Alberta, meanwhile, emergency doctors and senior health administrators were planning to meet Friday for a brainstorming session on how to reduce queuing in emergency wards. Physicians there have said overcrowding is setting the stage for a "catastrophic collapse." Police in Manitoba began a criminal investigation last month into the death of a disabled man who died in a Winnipeg emergency room following a wait of 34 hours.
Similar problems will hit America soon under ObamaCare. Under the Massachusetts system of universal care (on which ObamaCare is closely modelled), ER visits increased significantly rather than decreased.

From the July 4, 2010 Boston Globe:
The number of people visiting hospital emergency rooms has climbed in Massachusetts, despite the enactment of nearly universal health insurance that some hoped would reduce expensive emergency department use.

According to state data released last week, emergency room visits rose by 9 percent from 2004 to 2008, to about 3 million visits a year.

When the Legislature passed the insurance law in 2006, officials hoped it would increase access to primary care doctors for the uninsured, which would improve their health and lessen their reliance on emergency rooms for the flu, sprains, and other urgent care.
As ObamaCare is phased in nationally, we expect similar problems in the other 49 states.

Do we want a Canadian-style "catastrophic collapse" here in the U.S.?

(National Post link via A.B.)