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New dashboard shows wait times for Lower Mainland emergency departments

People can view estimated wait time and expected length of stay
Surrey Memorial Hospital emergency department entrance in March 2021. A new online dashboard shows estimated emergency department wait times in the Lower Mainland, and on Tuesday (May 30, 2023), Surrey Memorial had the longest wait by far at more than eight hours. (Lauren Collins)

People in the Lower Mainland can now check to see the average wait time at emergency departments across the region.

A new dashboard shows the average wait times at hospitals and urgent primary care centres throughout the Lower Mainland, noting the wait time, the expected length of stay and whether the emergency department is operating at its usual capacity.

It comes as hospitals across the region, and the rest of B.C., are facing high volumes and wait times for patients.

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On Tuesday (May 30), the dashboard showed Surrey Memorial Hospital had the longest wait time by far at an estimated eight hours, with an expected length of stay just under 10 hours. But it said the emergency department was operating normally.

In the last year, Fraser Health says it has seen a seven per cent increase in emergency department visits compared to pre-pandemic levels. Byy providing wait-time information and expected length of stay, the health authority hopes to “improve the experience for our patients and their families by reducing uncertainty and anxiety they may feel while waiting for care.”

Fraser Health says this new information will help patients and families make informed decisions about accessing care. These estimates help demonstrate how long it may take to see a physician and the expected length of stay in the emergency department.

Fraser Health says it cares for more than 2,000 people in emergency departments across the region, which stretches from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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