01/11/2012 11:43 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Man visited emergency 150 times, Wall says

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says one patient in this province visited the emergency room 150 times in one year.

It's only one anecdote, Wall told reporters this week, but it illustrates why health-care reforms are important. The man needed help, the premier said, but not from emergency departments.

However, no one intervened in such cases until the health-care system embraced new management strategies, Wall said.

"If that individual is getting the care that that he needs from some other part of the health-care system and not presenting himself to emergency, does that lighten the fact that in some cases it's a 12-hour wait for emergency room care?"

When Wall and other premiers meet in Victoria next Monday and Tuesday, Wall plans to take a message that new health-care money from Ottawa should be tied to innovation.

Wall said other countries are making better use of their health-care dollars to drive down waiting times.

"People wait 45 minutes — the emergency rooms are empty — because the triage happens in the waiting room. A team comes out and literally deals with people waiting in the emergency room quickly," Wall said.

It's the "definition of insanity" to keep spending more and more money on health care and hope for different results, Wall said.