Update: NDP Leader Lorraine Michael raises ER wait times issue in House of Assembly

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Barb Sweet
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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael faulted understaffing in emergency rooms for long waits when she raised the issue today in the House of Assembly.

Health Sciences Centre

It is the second day for Michael to inquire about emergency room waits.

“Yesterday the Minister of Health and Community Services (Susan Sullivan) said her department is looking at increasing the hours of physicians and other health professionals in ER departments during peak times,” Michael said.

 “I ask the minister, when will these additional physicians and nursing professionals be in place to cope with emergency room congestion?”

Michael also referred to the situation of Reade’s family member, without naming her.

 “One senior was put in a room for several hours with no attention, no water, no food, no blankets,” Michael said.

Sullivan said there are two community rapid response teams, which will expand to four sites from two this year. The teams provide health services and home support to seniors, which government says will reduce the need for admissions to a hospital;

She also said high accreditation ratings for hospitals show the province is doing well in providing quality care.

Michael suggested some people in the province can’t get find a family doctor, which drives up emergency room numbers

Sulllivan said the province has more doctors than ever.

•••

(Earlier story)

Long emergency room wait ‘horrendous,’ St. John’s woman says

When Carol Reade accompanied a sibling to the emergency room at the Health Sciences Centre in June, the St. John’s woman not only waited almost 12 hours for the family member to get treated, but had to call 911 that night when the sibling passed out at home.

Reade didn’t want to name her sibling, who passed away two weeks ago from cancer, out of respect for the sibling’s immediate family.

But the June visit, the first of many, was the subject of a diary Reade began on the sibling’s ordeal.

Reade said she informed doctors that her sibling had no tolerance for pain.

But she suspects the long wait, no food and only swabbed water, caused her sibling to pass out back home that night from a few different rounds of medication that Reade said included morphine, Gravol and some other IV drugs and pills.

The sibling was talking on the phone at home that night after being treated in the ER when she slumped onto the desk.

“Blessed Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I called 911 again,” Reade said.

The elderly sibling was used to no more drugs than an aspirin, Reade said.

Reade said the wait in ER was horrendous.

“It was the experience — being shoved from room to room and in the hallway because nobody was treating (my sibling),” said Reade, who added she requested a food tray for her sibling, but the promised tray never came.

“You’re treated like statistics. If you are over 75, forget it. You’re getting the drugs buddy, you’re getting the drugs.”

The sibling was taken to emergency around midday on that June occasion, had a CT scan at 5:30 p.m. and finally saw a doctor  around 10 p.m.

The sibling’s ordeal began with a fall in May and by June the sibling wasn’t breathing properly.

It was subsequently discovered the sibling had cancer. But Reade said the fall was pushed to the wayside once the cancer diagnosis was made.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is raising the issue on long ER waits in the House of Assembly at this time.

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Recent comments

  • Paul
    November 08, 2013 - 08:01

    Emergency means emergency ,not a cold or broken toe !!!! Be prepared to wait !

  • Robb
    November 08, 2013 - 07:28

    Not news Loraine...but you need to try and make something of this to deflect everyone looking at you. You know your party imploded and has zero chance, so the only thing to do is go on the offensive. Well, it's just plain offensive of you.

    • Chantal
      November 08, 2013 - 09:26

      It is news and her job, along with all MLA's is to address issues that matter to the constituents. She has a job to do. Sorry if the concept offends you, Robb.

  • Linda J. Clarke
    November 07, 2013 - 17:49

    I myself waited for more than five hours to see a doctor and I was in asthmatic seizure the entire time. Not enough air to even be able to walk to the window and ask for help. When I finally got in to see the doctor, she seemed more interested in making jokes, which under the circumstances, I was in no mood or frame of mind to entertain. The floor was cleaned by no less than four different cleaners during that time, but only ONE doctor on staff? Deplorable.

  • jack
    November 07, 2013 - 16:02

    10 hours wait last time health science 4 me, 10 hours wait 70 year old mother two days ago St.Clairs she had a lot of pain ,broken ankle. Shame.

  • Empty
    November 07, 2013 - 12:59

    I work there but i am not allowed to talk about it or tell you i agree.