KAWARTHA LAKES-Ross Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department has seen a significant increase in demand recently.
“In 2019, our daily average of patients visiting the Emergency Department was 107. We have been seeing anywhere from 120-141 patients per day over the course of the last month.” said Ryan Young, Communications Officer at Ross Memorial.
Young says officials cannot pinpoint any one issue that is causing the increase.
“There’s been no concerning increase in any particular ailment. While we can’t say for certain, we surmise the volume can be partly attributed to the increased seasonal residents/visitors in the region, as well as individuals being more comfortable to visit the hospital during the pandemic due to increased vaccination rates.”
The most recent data available through Health Quality Ontario indicates that patients in the Emergency Department in June 2021 waited an average of just over 90 minutes to be seen by a doctor, on par with the average of hospitals across Ontario according to Young.
“On August 3, we also updated our visiting guidelines to allow for one individual to accompany the patient into the Emergency Department. That can lead to an increase of the number of people in our waiting room.”
Young says for this reason, it’s important for individuals accessing the Emergency Department to carefully consider whether or not it is necessary for someone to accompany them to the hospital.
The ER at Ross Memorial sees approximately 45,000 patients per year.