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Premier visits St. Michael’s to announce improvement in emergency department wait times

Toronto, October 31, 2012

By Kate Taylor

Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks to residents in the Allan Waters Family Simulation Centre on Oct. 31
Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks to residents in the Allan Waters Family Simulation Centre on Oct. 31. (Photo: Yuri Markarov)

Premier Dalton McGuinty came to St. Michael’s on Oct. 31 to announce Ontario patients are spending less time in emergency departments, allowing them to receive treatment faster, return home sooner and freeing up hospital time to treat other patients.

The premier announced $93.6 million in provincial funding to reduce emergency department wait times and noted that time spent in the ED has decreased by 1.2 hours over the last four years.

“Improving ER wait times helps make an uncertain time less stressful,” McGuinty said. “Thanks to the hard work of hospital professionals, we’ve been able to reduce wait times and improve the lives of patients and their families.”

Dr. Bob Howard, president and CEO of the hospital said since St. Michael’s started the work to improve access to emergency, wait times have been cut in half.

“We continue to look for innovations that will reduce wait times further and we are confident that we will succeed,” said Dr. Howard shortly after he and Dr. Glen Bandiera toured the Premier through the Allan Waters Family Simulation Centre and spoke to residents.

Dr. Bandiera, chief of the hospital’s emergency department, said reducing wait times is “the right thing to do.”

“At St. Michael’s, we are eager participants in the initiative to improve access to ED care for every patient,” Dr. Bandiera added.