Tag: acceptable

‘Not acceptable’: UBC medical students voice emergency room concerns

Two University of British Columbia medical students are speaking out for their future, their fellow community members and potential patients.

UBC medical students Sandra Smiley and Christina Schwarz spoke with Global News regarding the current state of B.C.’s health-care system — especially regarding emergency health departments.

“Things are getting worse rather than getting better in emergency departments as we speak,” Sandra Smiley said.

“The system as (it) is, is not acceptable to patients or staff,” Schwarz said. “The further we get into our studies, the harder it’s going to get until we are the physicians that have to make those really tough decisions because our system is failing patients.”

The failure, the students say, is attributed to overcrowding, understaffing and violence in B.C. emergency departments.


Click to play video: 'Patient spends 9 days in Vancouver Island hospital hallway'


Patient spends 9 days in Vancouver Island hospital hallway


The pair is part of the UBC medicine PAC whose recent paper, Enough Waiting: A Call to Resuscitate BC Emergency Departments, says the median time that in-patients are kept in emergency departments is about 17.5 hours.

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“I’ve seen people boarded in the emergency department for hours, days sometimes,” Smiley said.


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“When people have to suffer through these wait times, they lose faith in the system,” Schwarz added.

The students met with the province earlier this month and brought forward a list of remedies that include increased capacity for primary care, and better long-term care and supportive housing options to reduce hospital stays.

“I think they’ve got great suggestions and we will look at anything they bring forward as they are seeing the front line of the health-care system

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