Winnipeg saw improved wait times at emergency departments and urgent care centres in December.
According to new numbers from Shared Health and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), the median wait times improved by nearly 35 minutes month-over-month to 2.6 hours. The data also shows that 90th percentile waits, which is the point at which 90 per cent of patients received care, improved by nearly 37 minutes to 7.22 hours.
The health-care agencies attribute the improvements, in part, to lower patient volumes. However, they say work still needs to be done, as the wait times are not at pre-pandemic levels.
“We are encouraged to see improvements but remain unsatisfied by current wait times, which are still higher than any of us working in health-care would like,” said Dr. Shawn Young, the chief operating officer for HSC Winnipeg, in a news release.
“We remain committed to continuing our work to improve patient flow in our hospitals and we thank our physicians and staff for their ongoing efforts to provide patient care during this challenging period.”
Some of the initiatives being taken to improve wait times include:
- Additional physician shifts scheduled at Winnipeg hospitals;
- Daily safety meeting with leaders and staff to identify and discuss challenges; and
- Offering paid training for entry-level applicants to become home care attendants.
Winnipeggers are reminded to continue seeking care in an emergency, either by calling 911 or going to an emergency department or urgent care centre.
Upon arrival, all patients are assessed and triaged and care will be provided. The sickest and most injured patients are prioritized, while those with lower-acuity concerns should expect longer waits.