Winnipeg continues to have Canada’s worst ER wait times

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Winnipeg continues to have Canada’s worst ER wait times
WATCH: Winnipeg hospitals remains the worst in the country for ER wait times. Global's Sean Leslie reports. – Nov 30, 2016

WINNIPEG — Three Winnipeg hospitals are the worst in the country when it comes to emergency department wait times.

Concordia Hospital has the longest wait time in the country at 6.8 hours, according to new numbers released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Victoria General Hospital has a wait time of 6.7 hours and St. Boniface General Hospital has a wait time of 6.5 hours – compared with a national average of 3.1 hours.

The statistics measure the longest potential wait time for nine out of ten patients entering an emergency department.

READ MORE: Winnipeg ER delays could mean some patients wait at home

Despite several Winnipeg hospitals sitting near the bottom of the national list for another year, the WRHA is reporting an increase in performance for local hospitals on emergency wait times.

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The CIHI numbers used in the report were gathered up to March, 2016. But between April and October, wait times improved by 8.5 per cent across the city.

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“I’m optimistic that the progress we’ve seen in the next six months, we can sustain and continue to improve at a faster rate,” Lori Lamont said, vice-president and chief nursing officer of the WRHA.

Lamont credits the implementation of rapid assessment zones and intake teams that started earlier this year with the improvements.

WATCH: In 2014, the Canadian Institute for Health Information said Winnipeg hospitals also had the worst emergency room wait times in the country

READ MORE: ER wait times posted on health authority website

Both are designed to move patients more quickly from waiting rooms to other areas of the emergency department, where they are seen by a physician and nurse who can hopefully direct them to the kind of care they need sooner.

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“For us internally here and certainly with our emergency staff, it’s very encouraging,” Lamont said about the early improvements the WRHA has seen with the initiatives.

Manitoba also lagged behind the national average when it comes to patients receiving a knee or hip replacement within six months.

That happened 66 per cent of the time in Manitoba compared with 79 per cent of the time across Canada.

However Manitoba is doing better than the Canadian average on repeat hospitalizations for mental health patients.

Across Canada, 11.2 per cent of mental health patients require three or more hospital stays compared to 9.6 per cent in Manitoba.

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