TORONTO - A new report says one in 10 Canadians who goes to an emergency department and requires admission to hospital has to wait more than 28 hours for a bed.
The report says nine of 10 people who transfer into hospital from the emergency department do so in under 28 hours, and for them the median wait was 8.8 hours for a hospital bed.
The report is from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Agnita Pal of the institute says the people who are waiting the longer periods are typically older adults, who often have complex medical cases.
The lengthy wait some people experience is well beyond what is recommended by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP).
The association issued a policy statement last fall calling for half of emergency department patients to be admitted within eight hours, and nine of 10 to be admitted within 12 hours.
Pal is the manager of clinical administrative databases operations at the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
She says emergency department wait time data show that for people who get care in emergency departments but don't need hospitalization, "the time that they spend in the ED were well within the national targets that are being recommended" by the emergency physicians' organization.
And for people who required an admission, the median wait time was 8.8 hours — not too far off the eight-hour target. But median means that half of the people waited less than 8.8 hours and half waited longer.
Some waited much longer.
"It's just that one out of 10 are having to spend ... 28 hours, over 28 hours to get admitted. So that is over CAEP target," Pal said.
The figures were compiled from a database of more than 10 million emergency department visits from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, in participating hospitals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon — a pool representing nearly 60 per cent of all emergency room visits in Canada during that period.
Also on HuffPost:
Urgent cardiac surgery Target: 1 week Q1 2013: 2.2 weeks Q2 2013: 2.1 weeks
Semi-urgent cardiac surgery Target: 2 weeks Q1 2013: 6.9 weeks Q2 2013: 4.1 weeks
Elective cardiac surgery Target: 6 weeks Q1 2013: 18 weeks Q2 2013: 23.4 weeks
Target: 22 weeks Q1 2013: 35 weeks Q2 2013: 37.8 weeks
Target: 28 weeks Q1 2013: 41 weeks Q2 2013: 43.1 weeks
Target: 25 weeks Q1 2013: 31 weeks Q2 2013: 30 weeks
NEXT ---> Alberta healthcare horror stories
Death on operating table.
In 2010, Andres Martinez went to hospital to undergo a routine appendectomy. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/01/29/calgary-fatality-report-andres-martinez.html" target="_blank">He would not make it out of the hospital.</a> Three years later, a report examining the cause of his death, revealed a doctor who had already been working 17 hours straight, used the wrong surgical tool, that caused injury to a blood vessel.
Miscarriage at Peter Lougheed Hospital...
In 2006, Rose, and Rick Lundy went to the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/07/26/miscarriage.html" target="_blank">Peter Lougheed Centre</a> emergency room. At the time, Rose was three months pregnant, and was suffering from abdominal pains. Rick would approach nurses five times pleading for help to no avail. Rose miscarried the baby while sitting in the waiting room.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/10/03/ab-miscarriage.html" target="_blank">Problems with the Peter Lougheed Centre</a>, didn't end with Rose and Rick Lundy. Erin Wilson form Strathmore lost her baby while waiting in the packed waiting room for six hours. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/10/04/miscarriage-apology.html" target="_blank">Her miscarriage </a>happened only a month after the Lundy's lost their child.
Deloris Morrison died while waiting for treatment at Grey Nuns Community Hospital in Edmonton. She and her daughter drove to the facility, which was farther away than the University of Alberta Hospital, because a wait times app said the second hospital had a shorter wait time. She was finally seen three hours later but bled to death internally from an aneurism while waiting several more hours to be admitted.
Adolph wasn't the only patient who vanished from doctors, and nurses. Suicides, escapes, and vanishing acts have plagued hospitals in Alberta. Starting in 2010, a nine month stretch at the Alberta Hospital in Edmonton <a href="http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/07/28/27-patients-escape-albert-hospital-in-nine-months" target="_blank">saw 27 patients escape from the hospital grounds.</a>
Her last cigarette.
68 year old Lorraine Adolph was allowed out for a smoke at the Alberta Hospital Building 12, a mental health care facility. <a href="http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/alberta-hospital-death/16aedunzl?cpkey=cbcc2012-1302-2111-0033-219636044000%257c%257c%257c%257c" target="_blank">Her body was found behind an abandoned building a week later</a>.
Death by sanitizer.
RCMP thought it was just another case of another alcoholic who had to sober up in jail cell. In May 2010, <a href="http://globalnews.ca/news/410757/alberta-hospitals-remove-hand-sanitizer-bottles-after-death-of-drunken-man-4/" target="_blank">Kurt Kraus died in his jail cell in Gleichen</a>. An inquiry discovered that Kraus ingested 10 anti-depressant pills, and swallowed hand sanitizer at a hospital in Vulcan.
Without a doctor in rural Alberta
<a href="http://milkriver.ca/tourism/history" target="_blank">Milk River, Alberta</a> is named after a river that flows from southern Alberta, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. That fact is not way the town has been in the news. The town of under 1000 people <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/02/13/calgary-rural-doctor-struggle.html" target="_blank">has only one doctor, who has held off retiring while the town desperately seeks more doctors.</a> The province states 40 rural communities are currently facing doctor shortages.
"The Error of Their Ways."
It is not uncommon to visit a hospital for surgery, and never see your family again. Medical mistakes, reactions to medications could increase your stay, or end your life. That reality was explained in a <a href="http://thewalrus.ca/the-errors-of-their-ways/" target="_blank">Walrus article</a> The story cited a poll from 2004 that stated, 7.5 per cent of patients will experience at least one adverse event during their stay. Because of those events, more than one million extra days are spent in hospital care. Of the amount of patients who react badly to treatment, and/or medication, around 24,000 of them die.
Young doctors to the rescue.
To help ease the strain of the rural doctor shortage, the Alberta government initiated a program called the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/03/11/calgary-rural-doctor-program.html" target="_blank">Rural Integrated Community Clerkship</a>. The program places medical students from the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary into rural towns, to ease them into the profession, as well as contain the issue of doctor shortage.
Sent home with a broken leg.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/02/13/calgary-rural-doctor-struggle.html" target="_blank">Greg Poirier fell down the stairs of his Edmonton home</a>, and hurt his leg. Crawling up the stairs to call a cab, he went to the hospital, and sent home, and was called by a Alberta Hospital administrator, all within 24 hours, to return to the hospital for treatment. At the first trip, he was given pain pills, and his leg was bandaged. It was only during the second trip he discovered he had a broken leg.
A nine month wait.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/calgary/features/mentalhealth/" target="_blank">The CBC has followed</a> the dangerous, and sad state of Alberta's mental health care system.<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/03/07/calgary-youth-mental-health-part-one.html" target="_blank"> One case</a> proves just how handcuffed Alberta's mental health professionals are in providing treatment. After cutting her arms from her shoulder to her wrist, Daisy Haynes was told she had to wait 9 months to receive treatment at a hospital. Diagnosed with major depression and emotional dysregulation, Haynes was given anti-depressants, and asked to wait it out.