Commonwealth _Canada _ In an open letter to Albertans, a group of almost 200 Calgary emergency room doctors warns that emergency departments are “collapsing” and that they are finding it difficult to deliver prompt and efficient patient treatment.
Patients sometimes have to wait up to 15 hours to see a doctor at Calgary’s emergency rooms due to an extreme increase in wait times. While they wait, these patients frequently get worse. Throughout each shift, we worry about these patients.
The 190 physicians involved, who represent roughly 75% of the medical staff at Calgary’s four adult hospitals, claim that they are speaking out on their own behalf and not that of Alberta Health Services or the Alberta Medical Association.
Although there are fewer stresses today than there were at the height of the epidemic, pressure still exists, according to Lin, who works in the emergency departments at Rockyview General Hospital and Foothills Medical Centre.
There are just not enough beds or personnel, according to Lin, and patient loads are still quite high. She thus frequently provides patient care in lobbies and waiting areas.
“We’ve all been the doctor working a night shift when the waiting room is packed, there are no spaces available, you’re critically short-staffed, and you’re trying to run a resuscitation in a hallway,” she added.
Dr. Sean Fair, an emergency room physician at Rockyview and Foothills, stated, “We are doing our best every day to provide safe, timely, and compassionate care to Albertans, and that has been slowly eroding so much that lately it has felt like a landslide.”
The group of doctors claims the “erosion” of emergency department care is mostly due to a lack of hospital beds and a scarcity of family physicians as well as front-line ER staff.
According to the writers of the letter, on an ordinary day, people who are admitted to the hospital but have nowhere else to stay occupy nearly a quarter of the emergency beds in the Calgary zone. They claim that on a poor day, that percentage might reach as high as 80%, leaving very few openings to handle arriving patients.