emergency department

Why do you have to pay for an ambulance?

Numerous media stories in the last year have highlighted the burden of ambulance fees for many Canadians. There is the story of the Saskatchewan woman battling fatal cancer whose non-optional ambulance trips from one hospital to another amounted to more than $5,000. There is the mom who had to call the ambulance several times when

Stranded in the Emergency Department

Heather Murray

It’s a weekend shift in a Canadian Emergency Department. On a stretcher lies a woman in her sixties. She has, just this week, been diagnosed with an advanced cancer. Her symptoms crept up on her, unnoticed or passed off as the result of inactivity during a long cold winter.  These multiple niggling things had finally

Improving hand offs between police and emergency departments

Police have been described as “street corner psychiatrists.” They are often the community resource that responds at all hours when emergency calls come in for someone in mental health crisis. Police also serve a gatekeeper function in determining what services are required for an individual in crisis. They are tasked with the important and difficult

Three walk-in clinics, no family doctor and one patient with abdominal pain

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: Late one afternoon, my sister, who is in her 30s, started having bad stomach pains. She decided to wait it out a little. But, the pain persisted

Should hospitals post emergency department waits online?

A number of Canadian hospitals have started publishing live emergency department wait times online in an effort to provide patients with expectations on how long they will have to wait to be seen for non-urgent issues.  These efforts are all innovative pilot projects, but there is little evidence available on whether this information makes any

Publishing ER wait times – for good or evil?

Mental Health Addictions Stigma

Taking a drive through some states south of the border, you might notice a peculiar phenomenon: not only are there billboards showcasing the latest fashion or promoting certain consumer goods, but obscenely large billboards advertising the ER wait times of various hospitals. “Come to our ER! The wait is only 3 minutes to see a

Accessing trauma care in Ontario

Every year nearly 5,000 Ontarians are injured through trauma and require specialized trauma care, which has been proven to save lives. Many Ontarians think that they can access specialized trauma care at their local emergency department. This is not true.  Timely access to specialized trauma care does not always occur in Ontario.  Melanie Carter was