Reducing Emergency Room Wait Times, Together



    Ontario Liberals Will Expand Successful Wait-Times Strategy To Hospital
    Emergency Rooms

    KITCHENER, ON, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - After four years of progress in bringing
down wait times for key medical procedures such as cardiac care, Ontario
Liberals will work with health care professionals to reduce wait times in
Ontario's emergency rooms, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
    "The emergency room is where anxious families come when there's a sudden
injury or troubling symptoms, so it's important that we are able to offer not
only hope, but speedy care as well," said the Premier at St. Mary's General
Hospital, which has some of the lowest wait times in Ontario for cardiac
procedures.
    "We're going to build on the success we've had bringing wait times down
elsewhere in our hospitals to significantly speed up emergency care."

    
    The premier outlined a five-point plan to speed up emergency care
including:

    -   Measuring wait times in emergency rooms, a crucial first step

    -   Working with experts to set appropriate targets for patient care

    -   Expanding efforts to prevent illness and treat chronic diseases such
        as diabetes to take pressure off emergency rooms

    -   Giving hospitals more nurses and more resources

    -   Expanding community care so patients can be moved to appropriate
        levels of care more quickly.
    

    Ontario Liberals will invest up to $100 million annually to lower
emergency room wait times.
    "Ontario's Wait Time Strategy has significantly reduced wait times for
cataracts and hip and knee surgeries at our hospital," said Rob Devitt, CEO of
Toronto's East General and Orthopedic Hospital. "Working together, I'm
confident we can make the same progress when it comes to emergency rooms."
    Today's announcement is part of the Ontario Liberal plan to build on the
progress Ontarians have made strengthening our health care system over the
last four years.
    Other parts of our plan include finding family doctors for another
500,000 Ontarians, creating 50 more family health teams in rural and Northern
Ontario, creating 100 more medical school spaces, licensing more medical
doctors and hiring 9,000 more nurses.
    Compared to four years ago, Ontarians are getting cataract surgery 181
days faster, hip replacements 133 days faster, knee replacements 143 days
faster, and cardiac procedures up to 33 days faster.
    "There will be cynics who will say we can't do this, that emergency room
wait times are just too tough a challenge to take on, but those same people
said we couldn't reduce wait times, four years ago - and we have," said the
Premier.
    "Now it's time to work together to bring down wait times in our emergency
rooms, so that patients can get the reassurance they seek and the care they
need as quickly as possible."

    
    Disponible en français

                            www.ontarioliberal.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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