Please reschedule your emergency for a different date or location

From the Montreal Gazette (Heart institute’s ER overwhelmed by cases):

The Montreal Heart Institute is asking patients to stay clear of its overcrowded emergency room at least until the end of Thursday.

It issued a 24-advisory today, asking those with non-emergency problems and patients who are already being followed at another hospital to avoid the heart institute and see their treating physician or contact a CLSC or Info-Santé.

ER’s provide a good window into how well a health system is coping. When the ER is overwhelmed with non-emergency patients as seems to be the case in Canada as well as the US it means the rest of the system isn’t doing a good job. People go to the ER because they lack convenient access to high quality care. At least in Canada there are ambulatory clinics with extended hours like the CLSCs referred to above. We don’t seem to have many such things in Boston.

April 6, 2007

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