Report highlights B.C. emergency wait times worse than most in Canada

A newly released report suggests that patients visiting British Columbia emergency rooms spend more time waiting for treatment than in ERs elsewhere in the country.

While B.C. ranked worse than the national average, Manitoba and Saskatchewan had even higher completion times.

90% of B.C. ER visits were complete after 8.4 hours in the 2016-17 fiscal year, up from the national average of 7.8.

And in addition to longer wait times over the national average, the report released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that the length of time for 90% completion was up over the same period the year before by about 12 minutes.

B.C.’s wait times have increased, but nationally the average has remained relatively stable when compared to last year.

The study suggested 90 per cent of patients’ ER visits were complete after 11.9 hours in Manitoba and 10.1 hours in Saskatchewan. P.E.I. and Nova Scotia had about the same 90 per cent completion time as the Canadian average, while Ontario’s was 7.5 hours, Alberta’s was 7.1 and the Yukon’s was 4.3.

When looking at the median length of stay in emergency rooms, B.C. tied with P.E.I. for fourth with about 50 per cent of ER visits completed in 2.9 hours. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia had worse times, while Ontario, Alberta and the Yukon fared better. The Canadian median was 2.7 hours.

CIHI did not provide data for Canada’s other provinces.