Number of patients leaving Winnipeg ERs without being seen has tripled: Shared Health report – Winnipeg

The number of patients who leave the emergency room at a Winnipeg hospital without being seen has tripled in the last few years according to a recent report from Shared Health.

The numbers shared show that in 2018, at the St. Boniface ER, 4.5 per cent of people left without being seen. That number was 13 per cent in 2022.

At the city’s largest hospital, Health Sciences Centre, 9.4 per cent of people seeing help in the ER left without being seen in 2018. Last year that number ballooned to an average of 26.5 per cent.

“It’s disappointing. It’s not a good thing, because this is a sign that our health-care system isn’t doing as well as it could provide care to patients,” said Dr. Alan Katz, professor of community health sciences and family medicine.

Read more:

Doctor makes desperate call for help after ‘chaotic’ weekend in Manitoba ER

Read next:

1 person injured in assault at Delta park, nearby schools placed in hold and secure

Story continues below advertisement

Staffing challenges have been a problem for a while with doctors desperately calling out for help on social media in October of last year.

A spokesperson from Doctors Manitoba says physicians are worried about their patients getting the care they need in a convenient and timely way, but the shortage of health-care workers is a major barrier and the province has one of the biggest doctor shortages in Canada.

Statement from Doctors Manitoba.

Doctors Manitoba

Winnipegger Sydney Wideman, 22, says the problem became very real for her when she ended up in the Selkirk ER after experiencing a foot injury from paintballing.

Story continues below advertisement

“It says injuries are prioritized by severity, so I’m like, ‘OK, I’m going to get in pretty fast, like my foot is huge and I’m in a lot of pain and I can’t even walk, ‘” she says.

“I ended up just leaving. I sat there from about 9 pm ’til 12 at night, and I ended up just wheeling myself back to the entrance of the emergency area and asking my dad to just take me home because I wasn’t being seen and I was not going to be seen for hours.”

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia ER deaths highlight national health care stresses: doctors'

Nova Scotia ER deaths highlight national health care stresses: doctors

She says she ended up going to the Stonewall ER where she was eventually given an X-ray after a couple more hours of waiting. She was told her foot was not broken and to return in two weeks if she was still in pain, but her foot did not get better.

Story continues below advertisement

“I went back in two weeks and got it re-X-rayed and I got a phone call the next day saying it was broken in the middle of my foot and I need to go in for surgery the next day. I got a plate and three screws put in my foot.”

Patient Sydney Wideman’s broken foot.

provided by Sydney Wideman

Wideman is part of a growing number of Manitobans who go to the hospital and leave without being seen.

Story continues below advertisement

“The key issue I think is about human resources, it’s about staffing. It’s about having enough nurses to run the hospitals, to run the emergency rooms and having people in the community to do the work there as well,” says Katz.

Last week the province announced financial incentives for doctors to extend their clinic hours but changes don’t happen overnight.

Read more:

Busy ER departments leading to added healthcare costs and workloads: University of Alberta study

Read next:

‘Suspected pipe bomb’ leads to shutdown of part of Highway 97 in Kelowna

Wideman says he would appreciate better communication.

“I think they should maybe color people before they come in, because no one told me until I started asking questions, like, ‘yeah, we’re really full, we’re super full,” she says. “’We’re not going to get to you,’ or ‘it’s going to be a long time.’ And the signs that say injuries are prioritized by severity, if they don’t intend to uphold that, don’t have them up there.”

– with files from Global’s Teagan Rasche

Click to play video: 'Online tool aims to cut emergency room wait times in Winnipeg'

Online tool aims to cut emergency room wait times in Winnipeg

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top