A new national study shows that New Yorkers were waiting for hours to be seen by doctors even before the fear of H1N1 flu—and actual cases of the disease—had patients jamming New York’s emergency departments this spring.
In fact, New York’s emergency-department waits in 2008 were among the longest in the United States, according to Press Ganey Associates, an Indiana-based consulting firm that many hospitals hire to assess patient satisfaction. Patients in New York state sat for an average of 288 minutes, nearly five hours, before being seen. That was enough to rank it a dismal 46th. The shortest average wait, 172 minutes, was in South Dakota.
Responding to concerns from patients, the New York state Department of Health has begun visiting a random selection of hospitals to learn whether the long waits are continuing, but officials could not provide recent figures on wait times.
Oh for Christ sakes. The answer is YES.
Hey, I have an idea... Let's pack a million more people into the city while allowing more hospitals to close!
That oughtta take care of the problem.