The ER wait times at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre are among the best in Alberta, but they still fall short of the goals that the province has set for the year. A goal of 90% of patients getting a bed in the hospital within 8 hours was set in 2010, but recent documents released by the opposition party show that wait times of up to 3 days have been seen in the last year in provincial emergency rooms. The average ER wait times between 2011 and the beginning of 2015 was a little more than 11 hours, and the worst period was seen near the end of 2013 when patients saw a wait time for a hospital bed at an average of almost 13.5 hours.
No one argues that the health care system needs to be tweaked, and the ER wait times are just a reflection of problem in the current system. While the ER wait times at Northern Lights Regional Health Centre were better than some other communities in Alberta it still fell short of the goals that the government has set. Many officials support increasing the number of long term care beds in order to relief some of the stress on community hospitals and to improve the wait times that are seen. Rachel Notley, the NDP Leader, released a statement which said “These are the patients who are facing serious illnesses and injuries and need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment and instead they’re spending days waiting in emergency departments for a bed to open. That is unacceptable.”