My Sault Hospital Experience: A study in incompetence

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Over the Christmas season, I visited the Sault Area Hospital Emergency Room because my doctor lost his license to practice medicine. What an amazing Christmas gift!
 
Dr. Touchy lost his license because he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. It wasn’t such a big deal because I recently moved to the Soo. I needed to find a new doctor in the Soo and had 6 months’ worth of prescriptions. On Sunday before Christmas, I found out that when your doctor loses his license. They cancel all your prescriptions.
 
Fantastic! Nothing says Christmas fun like going to a walk-in clinic!
 
It’s Sunday December 22nd. I run out of my drugs in five days. What to do?
 
I searched for walk-in clinics to find out that the only open clinic was the Fast-Track Clinic at Sault Area Hospital. The hospital should seriously reconsider the name of the clinic. It wasn’t fast. Dead sloths are faster.
 
In my life, I’ve been in private and public hospitals in three different countries. Sault Area Hospital wins the prize for the most incompetence. Nothing makes sense!
 
The Sault Area Hospital is set up to frustrate patients into leaving. They don’t care about helping people. Many people with swollen hands and arms from falling never offered a bag of ice. By the time one person received their bag of ice. It was a bag of lukewarm water! It felt like a third world hospital, not Canada!
 
The incompetence starts at the front door. I took the bus to the hospital and entered the front door. I asked a friendly volunteer for the Fast-Track Clinic location. Her response? It’s way far away at the other end of the building and she suggested I drive my car over. I informed her I took the bus. She directed me to a long hallway to follow to the ER.
 
Wow, you could run a 800m race in that hallway. Who designs a hospital with the ER located a good 3-5 minute walk from the front door? What if I had twisted my ankle? I’d still be hobbling to the ER.
 
Success! I arrived in the ER. Just kidding, the incompetence had only begun!
 
I started in the first of 3 ER “parking lots.” The Sault Area Hospital specializes in moving you from waiting room to waiting room to frustrate you into leaving. Also known as wasting money on administration instead of paying doctors and nurses.
 
I asked how to get registered and someone told me to take a number. Am I at the butcher shop?
 
The journey of incompetence continues with two triage nurses. I took a number and waited for my turn. The first parking lot took about 45 minutes before calling my number.
 
During that time, a guy who came by ambulance got up and left with a paramedic standing next to him.
 
Of everyone I dealt with, my triage nurse was the nicest. She had recently lost her doctor. So we bonded over that. From my experience, the triage nurse seemed to be the only one who cared about her job.
 
After triage, I moved to the administration parking lot, which was the quickest. Why? Because three administrators waiting to do nothing more than confirm the information I gave the triage nurse.
 
Why three? There are two triage nurses and they split people between the Fast-Track clinic and the regular ER. So not everyone even goes to those three administrators!
 
Finally, I made it to the Fast-Track clinic parking lot. Sorry, I mean the waiting room. I dropped my form into a tray for the non-existent nurse to put into the queue to see the doctor. I took my seat and started the waiting game.
 
A guy sitting across from me had a big swollen hand. We started to talk and I found out that no one had offered him ice for his hand. I went up to the counter to see if I could get him ice. There was a nurse sitting there with her back to me checking Facebook. I asked for some ice and she said, “I’m busy and will be with you in a few minutes.”
 
SHE WAS ON FACEBOOK!
 
As an investigative journalist does, I started talking to people and asking questions. What better way to learn about something than asking locals. I found out some astonishing things.
 
First, no one in the room had seen the door open to go into the area to see the doctors. Some had been there since 9:20am and it was past noon. It would be another hour before the door opened for the first time.
 
How is it possible that no one saw the doctor in over four hours!
 
Second, every time I went to ask for a bag of ice. The nurse was on Facebook!
 
Finally, the nurse called my name. But, not before five other names of people who had given up and left! It was the same every time the nurse came out. She would call three-to-seven names before someone was still there!
 
The Sault Area Hospital is the worst ER I’ve even been to! They have no hospital to compete against. They are the only major hospital for hundreds of kilometres. There is no incentive to offer quality care.
 
Does the hospital still get paid if you leave? Could the hospital be trying to make you leave on purpose?
 
After experiencing Sault Area Hospital, these are valid questions I will investigate!

203 COMMENTS

  1. Did any of you even read what the man wrote!? He was NOT in emergency, he was in Fast Track which is in fact separate from emerge. your all quick to argue but DONT F’ING read the article in its entirety. My next point, NON of you have any idea what the hell goes on in that hospital on ‘slow’ day let alone a busy day. I can almost guarantee the lot of you wouldn’t be able to do what the staff and nurses do in a shift(which is 12 hours……if your lucky) I worked there and was one of the people who staffed the hospital. You want to complain to someone for having to wait in emerge??? complain to the police for dropping off unstable people with addictions issues and mental health issues and not even seeing to it that they get checked in WITHOUT HURTING A NURSE OR GETTING VIOLENT. the reason it’s a mad house down there is because our city lacks in resources/help/ doctors/ housing for mental health and addictions. I know, i am a recovering addict with mental health issues. instead of judging and snapping at each other, why not ask, HOW CAN THIS BE FIXED OR CHANGED?

  2. The last time my hubby and I were there (a late Friday night), a couple came in with their young son suffering from abdominal pain. We overheard them telling the nurses they were from the US. After they “took a number”, I got concerned this child might have been seriously ill. I’m no medical professional but I walked over to them and suggested they go across the river for treatment and explained we had been waiting for over 6 hours. I felt awful this child could have been harmed by the lack of doctors available. Nurses did come out and explained there were some serious issues going on back there but I wish we had the option to go across the river…

  3. SAH definitely saved my husband from a life of disability, and perhaps also his life. He had a stroke and could not move his legs. He was rushed to SAH, where he didn’t have to wait at all, was taken to the ER immediately and saw a doctor in literally seconds. After that it was a flurry of tests including a cat scan and a MRI. His results were sent immediately to a consulting neurologist in Ottawa and a video conference was set up right there in the er room. 10 minutes later he was receiving a drug called tPA and later that day he was walking around his private room in the ICU. He walked out of the hospital on his own steam and that is directly because of the staff at SAH and their competence.
    Sure if you have a boo boo or just need a script you might wait a while, but rest assured when you are dealing with a REAL emergency the help is immediate.
    You call yourself an investigative reporter, but don’t try and pass this off as any kind of investigative journalism, it’s just a whiny, holier than thou opinion piece, nothing more

    • JustADude, You must be a bloody worker here… You are pathetic!!! The person is right the services at the Sault’s hospital is the frigine shits!!! I have been there a few times myself because I don’t have a doctor… AND YES you have to wait a hell of a long time… NOT too many nurses cares, but The one who cares it makes the time goes faster… when you finally see the doctor, there again you have some doctors who does cares and a few who doesn’t… So go figure, Where is the good care in the Sault-Ste-Marie’s Hospital… you tell my Dude!!!

      • clearly its very busy, stop complaining and deal with it. The pathetic ones constantly complain about everything, your opinion means nothing to me. Have a nice day!

    • Man you got to get a heart! Wow I have had to use our health system more than frequently and in MY experience going in with a serious life threatening condition our Hospital is excellent. However for anything less than life threatening you wait and are treated as a number not a person. People to not want to go to urgent care, you go because you are desperate for medical attention or due to lack of Doctors in the Soo that’s where you go to get medications re-ordered. In other cities across the country walk-in clinics separate from the hospitals are available as an alternative for minor medical needs, this could alleviate the wait times at our urgent care. If you ever end up in a situation where you need serious urgent care I hope you receive prompt and excellent care. But as a human being you are entitled to your opinion, but know what your talking about before you dismiss people who are expressing their actual experience. We all know the system needs improvements.

  4. My parents had an aweful experience at SAH. My father had fallen and cut his head. He is on blood thinners for congestive heart failure. He also has dementia. Yjey are 78 and 79 years old. My mother got to Emerg with him and couldn’t get him out of car. Was told no one could help her because of insurance. I get it. They told her she had to call an ambulance to get him in door. She has no phone so was made so walk to ambulance base when she has severe arthritis in knees and back. She gets there and base says that they can’t do anything she has to phone. So she walks back to Emerg and just cries and someone helps her get him in a wheelchair. Great finally in Emerg then has to wait 6 hours before seen by a doctor. He is on blood thinners and could have been bleeding internally. Doctor was great once he was finally seen. I just think something needs to be done with our Emerg. I have also seen lots go on. I also work in healthcare so I know there are good and bad everywhere. Not all nurses and doctors are bad but it just makes the good ones look bad that’s all. I have also been there with my 80 year old father in law who had x-rays on lungs. There was a spot on them and had the doctor say to us well he is 80 and has lived a good life then done nothing about it. You seem to have to advocate for your care or have someone do it for you.

    • She should have called an ambulance… Would have been taken care of faster….at least that was my experience with my mom…

  5. People. Your missing the point. It’s not his emergency, it’s The Emergency department. Mainly the fast track. I was there for hours waiting with a severely broken ankle, sent home in a splint cast or whatever they call it for five days before I finally was taken in to surgery. The care I finally got was good. Quit attacking the messenger and get the message straight.

  6. Doesn’t make what he had to say any less the Truth and he is new to the sault and no Dr. and walk in’s were closed for the holiday’s i beg to differ what there is to respect . I waited 10 hrs.

  7. I have only had good experiences when I have been to emergency. Also things like this happen, it’s not a Sault Ste. Marie thing. I am tired of the Soo bashing all the time. We are fortunate to live in this community, it is a great place as far as I am concerned.

  8. Wish I could sympathize with him but he’d have been better off to go to his pharmacy first. Emergency is set up for emergencies and I’m not convinced his dilemma should be considered that. I’ve been in the hospital many times over the past few years and can honestly say I was impressed at every step in my journey. I never met with anyone who wasn’t professional, kind and courteous. Perhaps I wasn’t looking for anything negative as an investigative journalist might be. For every post like that there will be dozens with nothing but positive feelings about their experience. It’s never a black and white issue.

  9. 2 weeks ago it took 12 hours to get a MRI to make sure my daughters shunt in her head wasnt malfunctioning. I called her neurosurgeon at SickKids because he says to always call him and he was shocked at the wait time and said I should have just drove to Toronto SickKids, which I will be doing next time. I finally told them to get my daughters IV out of her hand that we were leaving. They didnt like that too much! It seemed she got the MRI pretty quick after that. I told them to even call the neurosurgeon themself which they did. It was just ridiculous.

  10. Is this guy for real?? News to me that there’s an Admissions Parking lmao! The most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life!!
    This “investigative journalist” sounds like his head is so far up his own arse, it’s not even funny!!
    I guess just they give anyone a pass to write articles!! None of what was written for locations of triage was even in existence. It’s hilarious. My own hospital in my own town and this moron made me feel like I didn’t know my own hospital…. and the CORRIDOR he’s speaking of is a memorial hall!! That’s dedicated to ALL doctors who are active participants in things happening in the hospital. Sorry you don’t live here and these doctors mean nothing to YOU, but these doctors do mean something to the rest of us!!
    And degrading and name calling a doctor “mr touchy” shows more and says more about you and your character than he and his !! You’re a terrible “journalist”!! And there was NOTHING investigative here…. lmao!

    NEXT!!

    • You need to read slower….. Dr. Touchy, lost his license, probably due to assaulting patients…. degrading someone who is being touchy, when they should be, is not degrading, it’s truth. You should calm down and try to understand what has been said here.

  11. For an investigative reporter, you don’t seem to investigate very much.
    1. Pharmacies WILL renew scripts for 30 days if you’re in a jam. Unless it’s opioids. I’ve done it several times.
    2. You left it until you had just 5 days left before refilling and then blame the hospital for your poor planning.
    3. You could have gone to other walk-ins on your last day ( the 27th) and got a file opened at the same time.
    4. Hospital emergency rooms aren’t designed to refill prescriptions. They are for sick people, not for people who feel entitled.
    5. There is no way ANY nurse is going to give ice for swelling unless a doctor has been consulted. It could cause major damage if swelling is caused by another problem.
    6. You could have checked wait times before you even caught the bus.
    7. The emergency entrance is designed to be far from the main entrance. It’s the same in all modern hospitals. Not many people take the bus when they have a medical emergency.
    8. You chose the absolute worst day to be sitting in emerg. But of course everything is SAHs fault, right ?

    • So you want to be an investigative journalist. Let’s go through your 8 points and see how you did:
      1. As stated, the pharmacy would not honour the prescriptions of my former doctor. The medication I have taken since 2002 and not opioids. A pharmacist may renew a prescription for up to 30 days but only if the doctor hasn’t lost their license.
      2. I did leave it to 5 days before, I’ve taken the same medication for almost 20 years and never had a problem getting it.
      3. Actually, your math is wrong. I said Sunday with 5 days left. That takes me to Dec 26th as the last day. Counting the days on the calendar would help you figure out the correct day.
      4. The Fast-Track Clinic at SAH is designed for prescription renewals and says so on the SAH/Fast-Track website. A simple google search would help you investigate that.
      5. Why in First Aid courses are we taught to ice people when they have swelling?
      6. I did check the wait time on the SAH/Fast-Track site which stated 3 hours when I left my house.
      7. My dad was a construction project manager and built/refurbished many hospitals in Toronto and the surrounding GTA region. ERs are not designed to be far away from the main entrance.
      8. I was in the Fast-Track Clinic and not emerg. A careful reading of my experience would have helped you investigate that.

  12. Stay on subject. That has nothing to do with having 5 days of a prescription left.
    You also had a reaction. The nurse – a trained professional – determined you were not facing an emergency

  13. While we are truly blessed to have medical care available at all times, I have to agree with most of this article… I have, unfortunately, spent far too much time visiting our hospital over the past couple of years. Too much time walking the halls, waiting in emerge, sitting in ICU and palliative care. I have seen amazing nurses that go above and beyond and witnessed others that were appallingly lacking in care and empathy! Unfortunately, I have seen far too many of the latter. I have personally witnessed nurses gathered together at the station, on facebook, gossiping and laughing with their peers instead of doing their jobs, while patients are suffering, pressing their help button and wondering why no one is coming. I’ve witnessed elderly patients, who can not even stand on their own, left for an hour on the commode while the nurses gather and giggle ignoring the call button, young child with a head injury having seizures in the inside ER, waiting room, had been waiting for HOURS, and no one had even looked at him…The things I have seen in the past two years, from surgery to recovery, ICU and palliative… emerge and fast track.. our hospital is seriously lacking. The nurses really should have performance reviews, the ones that don’t ‘LIKE” the job should leave! It is a tough job, no matter how you lay it out… but it is one that requires a passion to do well, strive for better and should be extensively monitored while doing it!

    • Kerry I support every thing you wrote! I still shudder when I think about the scenes I witnessed and my mothers words ” they are not nice to me here ,on afraid ” My mother was in a private room with insurance coming out of her ying yang wearing a too she came in wearing the filling day and put in a diaper ; when she had 3 zip front new night gowns right there with her ( I wanted to kill someone) I was so humiliated for her ..still makes me sick , when I picture the staff congregating around the main desk lauphing loudly ,while people are dying and terrified in nearby rooms
      The rounds consisted of a nurse sticking a head in a door and signing off in a chart attached to the room door…not even coming in the room at all.
      I myself have been waiting for a doctor for 17 years now in this city! 17!

  14. Among 11 developed countries, Canada has one of the worst rankings for timely access to family doctors or primary-care providers. The situation in this city is particularly bad as there are many people unable to even find a family doctor. Consequently, Canada, among developed countries, has the highest rate of use of hospital emergency departments for primary medical care. Canada has the longest wait times in hospital emergency rooms with 30% of Canadians waiting four hours or longer before being seen.

    • Dr Chow – would you say there’s a direct causality between lack of access to a family GP & hospital emerg room usage?
      I’ve also heard that long wait times are partly engineered in order to keep on track with regard to operational budget – is there any merit to that rumour?

      • If you don’t have a family doctor you pretty well have no choice but to go to the hospital fast-track clinic – there aren’t any walk-in clinics in this city. So, if you need a refill of a prescription and have no family doctor, there is no choice but to go to SAH. Long wait times in the ER aren’t engineered by SAH, but by the Ontario government, in the sense that the government has calculated that long wait times in hospital ER’s are preferable to the increased cost of funding improved access to primary care by both more family doctors and more efficient hospital ER’s.

    • Now, as doctors are retiring, a lot of seniors that had a doctor for 25-30 yes are going to be without one as well!

  15. You needed your prescriptions filled 5 days in advance. This is not a true emergency and could have been addressed at one of the several walk in clinics. You are part of the reason for the wait times. Arrival by ambulance does not automatically mean higher acuity will be assigned as they are triaged by the Paramedic. I welcome you to do a shift in the back and witness the countless traumas that come in every shift along with mental health cases and screaming babies, medical issues etc. You may have a little more respect and re evaluate YOUR “emergency”

    • If you had bothered to read the article, he mentioned the only walk in clinic open was fast track at SAH…otherwise I am sure he would have gone to one. Not much choice if the clinics are closed, you have to go to the hospital…one would think that since it was just for a RX renewal you would have dealt with it sooner since he would have been in and out within 10 min…

    • Doesn’t make what he had to say any less the Truth and he is new to the sault and no Dr. and walk in’s were closed for the holiday’s i beg to differ what there is to respect . I waited 10 hrs.

    • Christopher did say he lost his doctor for unsavoury bs and that when that happens they remove their prescriptions from current patients. He said he had had 6 months worth of prescriptions before that happened and he also said that the only walk in clinic he could find open was at SAH. Having said that I couldn’t help but feel attacked by his comments. I have no relatives that I know of that work at the hospital but I have been there many times and sometimes had to wait. We do not have an over abundance of Doctors in the Sault. That is a problem for many. A great number of people do not even have a doctor to call their own, myself included…As the one person mentioned a nurse cannot give an ice bag to a patient. As Chris pointed out we are not a 3rd world hospital there fore we know that ice to some wounds could cause blood clots nurses have to follow protocol. Christopher did you ask that nurse on face book what she was doing? You know what they say for all you know she was working over time and communicating with family as too how much longer she would have to be there answering to people that think she should supply ice when not allowed by hospital rules.. I can understand your frustration and it really does take a bite out of the big dog that your Dr. messed up.. but you did say you had moved out of town…from experience I have learned that you leave town you lose your Doctor in the town you left …so maybe you should have gotten a doctor in the town you moved to.. Please take your negative energy away the SAH runs on positive vibes and any Doctors or nurses in this town are top notch they all could leave any time and get a much higher pay rate.. You wrote : “someone told me to take a number. Am I at the butcher shop?” As an investigative reporter can you suggest a better way to prove you were here before the guy behind you??
      I had gone in for minor surgery on my hand (carpel tunnel )my Doctor was late…I joked with him that maybe he had been out drinking all night . His reply was that he had been in emergency surgery all nite with a patient that caused her own wounds… I told him a joke and we laughed he had an excellent bed side manner and I could appreciate that he knew I knew he was working to the best of his abilities. I am not a writer but I could point a finger at you and say that you mentioned moving parking lots a couple of times…I was reading out loud to my father and he nor myself could make heads or tails of those statements…
      To shorten my rant if it is not to late….Sorry you moved out of town and lost your Doctor for unsavoury reasons…I understand your frustration but before you piss on my SAH make sure your pants are down because if not your the one who will be embarrassed.

  16. They are extremely incompetent, all they do is try to get you to leave. They do not care in the slightest. I watched one girl come in and was screaming in pain, her friend was left to care for her, she had an IV but it had fallen out and she was about to shit herself, the friend was holding the IV that had fallen out and was begging for a nurse to help her. Eventually the friend walked away in tears and left her friend screaming in pain in the middle of the ER. I had to take my 6yr away from the chaos and stand in the hall so she wouldn’t be exposed to the craziness that was unfolding in front of everyone. Finally after about 20mins of this woman screaming in agony, someone came to help her. I should have video taped the treatment she got and how rude they are, most of them hate their job and take it out on the patients. I agree with this article, the triage nurses (most of them) are great.

  17. I think it’s a good idea for people to start paying attention how this person did. It shouldn’t take 10 hrs to see a doctor , they wont let you eat or drink anything until seen by a doctor . I know this for a fact I went threw it and waited almost 10hrs to see a doctor . Not to mention to be told I had virous . Asked to have a xray done on my lungs and was told they sounded “clear” went to the family doctor 3days later had xray done and bang..infection in the lungs. Thanks soo area hospital . Thank you. Also thank you to the nurse who stuck the wrong test strip up my nose. Sad

  18. Christopher Oldcorn oh so you must be a nurse that triages ambulances? In fact just to educate you just a tad she is CORRECT. All incoming patients no matter their mode of arrival are triaged INCLUDING patients arriving by ambulances.

  19. I know if someone who went to emerg and died in the waiting room , waiting to see a doctor . I also know of someone who went to emergency they sent him home and he collapsed and died at home. These doctors are getting payed good enough $ to take care of patients . We are not animals we are humane . Its ashame how people are treated there. And I agree lots of the nurses got attitudes. If you dont like your job go elsewhere . They get payed to take care of people not be sitting behind the desk eating popcorn on facebook smh

    • Does the Dr have psychic tattooed on their forehead? Pretty sure they don’t always know someone is going to die. You go to ER, they rule out critical conditions, ensure you’re stable and attempt to send you home if safe to and possible. And the person who died in the waiting room was probably waiting for the triage nurse. People who are actually sick enough to be rushed in first with critical issues sit there with a number and don’t make a scene, it’s the ones who are yelling and making a scene that are healthy enough and stable enough to wait. It’s the quiet ones you worry about

  20. Mr. Oldcorn writes: “On Sunday before Christmas, I found out that when your doctor loses his license. They cancel all your prescriptions.”
    Well, not exactly, atleast according to the Ontario College of Pharmacists: “The decision by the pharmacist to dispense a prescription refill after a physician’s registration status has changed is made within the context of the pharmacist’s professional judgement, the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice. In most cases, the prescription refill will be invalid; however, the pharmacist may decide to honour the refill request based on a patient assessment and the patient’s best interests. Where the pharmacist decides to dispense a prescription refill after the physician’s registration status has changed and the current refill prescription is invalid, the patient should be directed to find a new or interim prescriber before another refill is required”. So, automatic cancellation of prescriptions is not a given, as Mr. Oldcorn asserts. So, under these circumstances, pharmacists have the flexibility to refill a script if they feel it is in the patient’s best interests, and if they do, they’re to direct you you a practitioner who is qualified to write subsequent refills. Surely if I can research this in five minutes, the good investigative journalist can do at least this much!

    • I was informed by the pharmacist that ALL of my doctor’s prescriptions were cancelled. Not just me but for everyone. That’s a fact.

      • I was informed by the pharmacist that ALL of my doctor’s prescriptions were cancelled. Not just me but for everyone. That’s a fact.

        Reply: That is not what you wrote in your article. You wrote: ” “On Sunday before Christmas, I found out that when your doctor loses his license. They cancel all your prescriptions.”

        And… according to the Ontario College of Pharmacists that doesn’t mean that they won’t issue refills in extenuating circumstances, at the pharmacists ethical discretion. Did you read the URL I sent? In your situation the bottom line appears to be that your prescriptions were not considered by your pharmacist for any kind of emergency refill. But that’s not the case for everyone.

        • And what is your point, exactly? In his case they WERE cancelled, regardless of the article you posted! In the context of his article he was speaking about himself and his experience. Clearly he got screwed over by no fault of his own. He was told that all of his and his former Dr.’s patient’s prescriptions were cancelled, that is not up for debate!

    • Like many ‘journalists’ these days Mr. Oldham apparently isn’t very good at his job.
      He did not have an emergency.
      He had to walk from the main entrance to the ER. Boo. Hoo.
      People with a sprained wrist aren’t a priority.
      This guy is a putz.

  21. They aren’t allowed to leave someone in pain. My sister used to be a nurse and she says its unethical. So whenever they neglect anyone I know, I tell them to say what they are doing is unethical….and they know it is.

    • Ummm actually if we don’t have a doctor’s orders then we legally can’t give you anything for pain other than Tylenol and advil. So tell the nurses that lmfao

      • Funny, I brought my husband to emerge, triage nurse looked at him, said “Ohh you’re doing the kidney stone dance” and actually put an IV in his arm and gave him a shot of pain meds right there in the triage!

  22. Lol this is a joke. I actually thought this was a blog and not a real piece of journalism. It’s crazy how entitled folks are. Getting a prescription is hardly an emergency, he’s just another one of the folks clogging up urgent care & complaining about how long their non-emergency issues took. While the bedside manner might not always be the best, the staff are doing the best they can. The emergency department works based on triage which means you’re seen in accordance to how serious your issue is compared to those around you. If you don’t see someone coming through those doors it’s likely because they’re slammed behind it with ACTUAL emergencies. I also highly doubt for one second that any of the staff were on social media during their shift. I wonder how many of these folks would be clogging up the service & complaining all the time would feel if Healthcare was privatized and they had to pay for it.

    • How unfair of you to say it’s a joke. Unfortunately, the Sault has lost many doctors in the last year. And the waiting list to find a new doctor is years long. Walk in clinics and Fast Tracks are there for Non emergencies unlike being cut in half or a heart attack (and I doubt a heart attack or stroke would be handled in time around here).
      If there were enough doctors people wouldn’t have go to the walk in clinics. When the walk in clinics are closed and you call, they say, go to the ER. People are only doing what they are being told, and shouldn’t be judged and insulted because of it. If you’ve ever gone through withdrawal from medication after surgery, (or for which ever reason, whether pain medication or mental health medications, blood pressure, blood thinners for heart attack patients, Insulin for diabetes) then you have no idea what an emergency is. I’ve seen many administrators and triage nurses on their phones while sitting behind the window’s of the triage offices. Getting a bag of ice IS in their job description! So don’t highly “doubt” this. We pay for our hospitalization through our taxes, go ahead and educate yourself, use google and see. How dare you say or threaten we go to “privatized” or stating that someone who needs medication is clogging our “Fast Track” (btw, these clinics were created just for these reasons). Ontario is the highest taxed province for services we do NOT get. When patients are in need of care, according to you, they shouldn’t “clog” our ER rooms.
      But when they know, it’s going to be hours waiting, then going back and forth in their minds of the 5+ hours it will take (and make sure they have time for this) their emergencies are not treated as an emergency since they do NOT have a family doctor because they lost their old one and are now on the 5 year waiting list for a new one. So, off to the ER or Walk in Clinic/Fast Track where they are treated like homeless people, forced to wait because they aren’t considered a priority since no records will be sent to any family doctor for them to see how incompetent the hospital is, or how badly their patient was treated.

      We live in Ontario Canada. Our taxes dictate that we ARE entitled to be treated humanely and to be seen.
      Our system wouldn’t be clogged if everyone did their job accordingly. Waiting more than 2 hours for an emergency is down right abuse. I remember before our SAH was built, our cities excuse was our old hospitals (General and Plummer) do not have the equipment/space to treat it’s citizens and if we got a new hospital with new equipment, we wouldn’t have to wait for literally hours to be seen. So, our taxes go up yet again, we build the new hospital only to have the EXACT same problems as before. Hmm, maybe fire all the Admin/CEO’s and get a new bunch of shareholders, obviously we need a drastic change here in the city. If there are that many emergencies behind the “closed”doors, as you say, then that person should have been admitted and not taking up a bed/room behind those doors in an ER bed. Again, a failed system. We have a multi million dollar hospital that is sitting there with all these people running around doing nothing, then complaining that jobs are being cut. Why anyone is sent to Sudbury for anything is again, a failed system. This is why we can’t keep doctors here, and when we go get them, they have wondering hands or a list of hidden agenda’s we shouldn’t be hiring in the first place.
      Unfortunately, the Sault has done this “abuse” to it’s patients for decades. I’m sure the majority of people can say, no matter if it was the General, Plummer or SAH, wait times are outrageous no matter the emergency. I broke my leg once and had to wait 8 hours for a cast. Never mind a freaken tylenol. I won’t go into the amount of people who have died from negligent Cancer treatment because they spent too much time travelling to Sudbury for tests/doctors/treatment. Both SAH and hospitals in Sudbury are facing overcrowding as it is, and again, a failing healthcare system. There has been a problem with our hospitals like I said, for decades, and until practice changes, everyone with any kind of emergency will have to wait hours. Most don’t even bother going to the hospital because they know they won’t be treated well and would rather sit at home in pain taking over the counter tylenol than be told that anyway by our health care professionals. Personally, I’ve had a few emergencies, and googled my own treatment because of my past treatment at our hospitals.
      Thank goodness for our NPC’s. They have taken over some of the problems our city has with the absence of doctors. Bless them!!
      I suggest anyone/everyone without a doctor to make an appointment with the new NPC clinics. These professionals have the love and care we come to know with nurses along with the education/dedication of doctors plus their great bed side manners.
      On another note, if we were privatize, our taxes would be WAY lower, and we’d get to be seen by a doctor immediately..hmm..maybe we should privatize our fractured health care system.

    • Not a emergency? It is if you have high blood pressure or diabetis and you need your medication to control it or seizure medication . Ever think of that??

    • How unfair of you to say it’s a joke. Unfortunately, the Sault has lost many doctors in the last year. And the waiting list to find a new doctor is years long. Walk in clinics and Fast Tracks are there for Non emergencies unlike being cut in half or a heart attack (and I doubt a heart attack or stroke would be handled in time around here).
      If there were enough doctors people wouldn’t have go to the walk in clinics. When the walk in clinics are closed and you call, they say, go to the ER. People are only doing what they are being told, and shouldn’t be judged and insulted because of it.

      If you’ve ever gone through withdrawal from medication after surgery, (or for which ever reason, whether pain medication or mental health medications, blood pressure, blood thinners for heart attack patients, Insulin for diabetes) then you have no idea what an emergency is. I’ve seen many administrators and triage nurses on their phones while sitting behind the window’s of the triage offices. Getting a bag of ice IS in their job description! So don’t highly “doubt” this.

      We pay for our hospitalization through our taxes, go ahead and educate yourself, use google and see. How dare you say or threaten we go to “privatized” or stating that someone who needs medication is clogging our “Fast Track” (btw, these clinics were created just for these reasons). Ontario is the highest taxed province for services we do NOT get. When patients are in need of care, according to you, they shouldn’t “clog” our ER rooms. But when they know, it’s going to be hours waiting, then going back and forth in their minds of the 5+ hours it will take (and make sure they have time for this) their emergencies are not treated as an emergency since they do NOT have a family doctor because they lost their old one and are now on the 5 year waiting list for a new one. So, off to the ER or Walk in Clinic/Fast Track where they are treated like homeless people, forced to wait because they aren’t considered a priority since no records will be sent to any family doctor for them to see how incompetent the hospital is, or how badly their patient was treated.

      We live in Ontario Canada. Our taxes dictate that we ARE entitled to be treated humanely and to be seen.
      Our system wouldn’t be clogged if everyone did their job accordingly. Waiting more than 2 hours for an emergency is down right abuse. I remember before our SAH was built, our cities excuse was our old hospitals (General and Plummer) do not have the equipment/space to treat it’s citizens and if we got a new hospital with new equipment, we wouldn’t have to wait for literally hours to be seen. So, our taxes go up yet again, we build the new hospital only to have the EXACT same problems as before. Hmm, maybe fire all the Admin/CEO’s and get a new bunch of shareholders, obviously we need a drastic change here in the city. If there are that many emergencies behind the “closed”doors, as you say, then that person should have been admitted and not taking up a bed/room behind those doors in an ER bed. Again, a failed system. We have a multi million dollar hospital that is sitting there with all these people running around doing nothing, then complaining that jobs are being cut.

      Why anyone is sent to Sudbury for anything is again, a failed system. This is why we can’t keep doctors here, and when we go get them, they have wondering hands or a list of hidden agenda’s we shouldn’t be hiring in the first place.

      Unfortunately, the Sault has done this “abuse” to it’s patients for decades. I’m sure the majority of people can say, no matter if it was the General, Plummer or SAH, wait times are outrageous no matter the emergency. I broke my leg once and had to wait 8 hours for a cast. Never mind a freaken Tylenol. I won’t go into the amount of people who have died from negligent Cancer treatment because they spent too much time travelling to Sudbury for tests/doctors/treatment.

      Both SAH and hospitals in Sudbury are facing overcrowding as it is, and again, a failing healthcare system. There has been a problem with our hospitals like I said, for decades, and until practice changes, everyone with any kind of emergency will have to wait hours. Most don’t even bother going to the hospital because they know they won’t be treated well and would rather sit at home in pain taking over the counter Tylenol than be told that anyway by our health care professionals. Personally, I’ve had a few emergencies, and googled my own treatment because of my past treatment at our hospitals. I’m sure some of them shouldn’t have been ignored, but hey..this way I only have myself to blame instead of our SAH right?

      Thank goodness for our NPC’s. They have taken over some of the problems our city has with the absence of doctors. Bless them!!

      I suggest anyone/everyone without a doctor to make an appointment with the new NPC clinics. These professionals have the love and care we come to know with nurses along with the education/dedication of doctors plus their great bed side manners.
      On another note, if we were privatize, our taxes would be WAY lower, and we’d get to be seen by a doctor immediately..hmm..maybe we should privatize our fractured health care system.

      • Application of heat or cold to an area of the body is done by the nurse on orders by the physician or nurse practitioner. It cannot be done routinely by the nurse. And, I for one wouldn’t mind paying a nominal user fee for Emergency Services – it could even be geared to income. But, I think that would be against our (antiquated and obsolete) Canada Health Act.

    • nothing in his story said anything remotly close to what your saying, he talking about a doctor who got fired and the incompetance of the hopital. talking from experiance the managment at the hospital should be fired and locked up in jail.

    • Reply to Allie – You wrote: I wonder how many of these folks would be clogging up the service & complaining all the time would feel if Healthcare was privatized and they had to pay for it.

      Reply I have often thought that charging a nominal user fee (could be geared to income) for hospital emergency services would be a good idea. But it’s likely against our (antiquated and obsolete) Canada Health Act.

      To expand on a couple of your points:
      If a person is on a precription medication to control seizures, blood pressure, chest pain, or any other life threatening health issue, the time to look for a refill is when you are starting your last refill: the number of refills is clearly marked, and when it says “0”, that means it’s time to ask the pharmacist to fax the prescriber to ask about a refill. Because maybe the prescriber wants to see you before more refills are prescribed.
      Also, to those who think that applying ice is in the nurse’s job description: only on a physician or nurse practioner’s order. Yes, there needs to be a written order for these interventions, and these orders will be written usually only after the swollen area is examined. I don’t think nurse’s should be on Facebook at work (if in fact that is what was happening) but she/he still can’t apply ice without an order.

      https://www.flashcardmachine.com/cna-unit2728.html

    • I worked in a hospital and some do ignore their patients , and are on facebook . I retired 2 yrs. before i had to because the downhill of healthcare after 23 yrs. was outrages . I could write a book on the abuse of tax paying monies .

  23. My mom was put through tests, very compassionate and from previous experience, on the quick side (still there 9 hours total but considering all they did, that was quick). Doctor confirms she had a stroke, says the next doctor will admit her. Berg strolls in, says she DID NOT have a stroke, lectures ME about smoking, sends her home. The next day we saw a neurologist, who confirmed that yes she in fact did have a stroke. I wonder what would have changed with her recovery, if she had been admitted. She did not want to go home nor did I have the first clue how to help her at home. It’s very hit or miss there. Some doctors are great, but that’s rare.

  24. I remember one time I was stuck there for 11 hours. (I was prescribed to take extra strength tylenol once every 8 hours * yes the kind you just buy at the store no fancy stuffs at all* I did not bring one because I was not expecting to wait 11 hours.) I Very nicely asked the nurse If I may have a tylenol because I am in pain. She responded with “We don’t just give out drugs here to just anyone” and then saw her talking to a coworker and pointing at me. Honestly not even my worst story about that joke of a hospital

  25. My grandmother was sent home from ER twice with severe unrelenting back pain. Sent home with morphine. Turned out to be spinal cancer. Months later shes paralyzed.
    Severe unrelenting back pain is a red flag for cancer. Basic education when clearing for possible cancer pathology.

  26. I was taken to the soo hospital by the ambulance for an ovarian cyst burst in April 2018 where I I couldn’t even sit up, vomitting from so much pain.they brought me in by ambulance to have brought me into the triage area where I sat for 6 hours.
    Laying down was the most comfortable position and even then I was laying quietly as I could with tears streaming down my face.
    Having had this happen before (an ovarian cyst burst) I knew that there was nothing they could do other than make my pain more manageable.
    Once took me into the triage area and they removed me from the stretcher and made me sit in the chair for six hours before I decided to leave because why would I sit in a chair in pain when I can actually lay down on my own bed and still be in the same amount of pain since no one was going to come and fucking help me.

    Then just at the beginning of this month I was brought in by ambulance for passing out, having a seizure and (at the time thinking) I dislocated my hip which was the injury to cause the fainting and seizure which was found out by my real doctor two days later to actually be a hamstring injury and nothing with my hip.
    BROUGHT IN MY AMBULANCE AGAIN I had to wait 5 hours before doctor EVEN CAME TO TALK TO ME, asked what happened and said we needed an x-ray before doing anythig.
    Then I had to wait another hour before being taken to the X-ray room and then I had to wait another hour and a half before the doctor will come and talk to me about the results. And then I even had to yeeeet wait another half an hour for the nurse to come and bring me the crutches that I needed to buy to be able to walk. Went in at 6pm and left
    Around 2am.

    Sault Area Hospital PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A HOSPITAL.

    • Another non life-threatening issue, as you said yourself all they can do is offer pain management, which you can do from the comfort of your own home.

    • Just an FYI.. it doesnt matter how you get to the ER.. they triage you and your seen according to seriousness of your issue… just cause you took the ambulance there doesnt mean your more severe case then anyone else who drove or walked in. im sorry you had a bad experience.. but dont assume cause you arrived via ambulance you take priority .. doesnt work that way.

    • Christopher, one can certainly empathize with your story. Most Canadians have a similar story. Your incendiary piece about this one hospital in particular does little to help the situation. Yes you were in Fast-Track, which is part of the the emergency department at the SAH. The hospital is fairly transparent and clearly attempts to highlight this on its web page.

      https://www.sah.on.ca/programs-services/emergency-services

      Jim is correct, and this page does comment on resources and lengthy wait times.

  27. I think many of us hoped that when the new female hospital CEO took over we would see positive changes. I guess she just follows established protocols. When you get old you need to consider a move to a large centre like London to get the best care…we lack specialists.

  28. I have a shoulder injury and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon..got my letter today they accepted the referral, further down the letter I am told the wait time is 6 to 8 MONTHS! This is affecting my job! I have been on modified duties for 3 months already, my doctor said I will probably need a cortisone shot, 6 to 8 months for a needle!? Come on…

  29. I went to the emergency because i knew i was having a misscarage. I waited 10 hours there until someone seen me. To tell me im just too early. Went back the next day because i was in pain and knew i was miscarrying and waited another 8 hours. Our hospital is incompetent.

  30. I was with my daughter there 6 years ago from 2200 until 0300 to watch her baby. Didnt tell others waiting I was a nurse. 8 people there and all for pain killers. My daughter was given a morphine Prescription with one repeat for a very sore and swollen throat. No throat swab done. We left, threw put prescription as she was breast feeding and went to Richards Landing later that morning. They did swab, started Iv and gave antibiotics. She had strep throat.

  31. The nurse is so busy looking at her Facebook. I’m a nurse myself and that nurse just made my profession look horrible. I can say so much more but I will leave it at that

  32. Even if you make it to the doctor, it may be even worse than when you went in. My mom was brought in by air ambulance from camp to the Sault Hospital for a major hand laceration, and she was brought there because they said they had a plastic surgeon on call.
    Well after waiting in a room for hours with no pain meds, the resident doctor stitched her hand WITHOUT freezing it. Oh and the best part, he stitched her nerve on the outside!! That’s after he flicked it saying “hmmm wonder what this is”. She had to have 2 more surgeries to correct it and it will still never be the same. So ya, the hospital is the worst!!

  33. I also have had a lot of issues with the SAH as with most people. My father was given the diagnosis of bone cancer in the hallway bed with numerous other patients around listening the the conversation, I broke my ankle and the Emerg “fast track” dr wouldn’t even give me an X-ray and told me I sprained it so I walked on it for a month. There were issues with numerous other family members and friends using the hospital but it’s what we have and we have to be able to make the best of it. Does it need an overhaul Yes!

  34. Interesting that this article came up today. I spend 7.5 hrs in the ER on the 1st day of the year to leave extremely frustrated. Root issue was the lab. A test result that needed 3 hrs to read was returned untested, after 3 hrs. They required another sample if I wanted results, which required eating and the suffering through several additional bathroom visits. Why not advise sooner that the sample couldn’t be tested? I waited another 2 hrs to be told the lab had closed 2 hrs earlier. I waited for nothing and they discharged me with a followup call from the Dr. today. The nurse and Dr. felt bad but there needs to be more empathic attention by the lab when people are waiting. Prior times many family things misdiagnosed: pulled muscle was actually collapsed lung, bulging disk in back was actually a ruptured appendix, sore back was actually colon cancer, etc. (I have written before about how I appreciated many things about an ER visit so I see both sides: https://www.myalgoma.ca/2016/08/13/19-hours-in-the-er/) . It seems to be hit and miss though. My triage nurse, my care nurse, and Dr. were all nice yesterday, but still no answers to my continuing issues. SAH can be a bit baffling for sure.

  35. worst hospital ever seen elderly man who could not walk swollen ankle already there eight hours still waiting 2 at least 2 more hours while we were there no one moved no nurse at desk the 2 hours we waited then left cause no nurse or doc in sight no one being called in even the other patience said they hadnt seen anyone for hours we left this hospital big joke

  36. Ignorance and arrogance at its best, are only healthcare professionals expected to have compassion?

    Did the man get his prescription refills? Probably. Could he have organized himself to, one of many, walk-in clinics in Sault Ste. Marie prior to Dec. 22 and being completely out of medication? Probably. Are prescription refills an emergency? No.

    • Refilling prescriptions sometimes is an emergency…I also had the wonderful experience of my Doctor losing his licence and did not know that the pre written prescriptions were no longer valid until I went to my Pharmacy to have them refilled…HOW WOULD ONE KNOW THIS???????
      SO I am told I will have to see another doctor at a walk in clinic or emerg at the hospital…so I go to Second Line and Goulais Ave Walk in and find out they are only open Monday Wednesday and Friday 9 am – 2pm..it being Tuesday I go back Wednesday at 8 am to get in line with the 10 other people already there waiting to just find out at 9am when they pharmacy opens (which is in the same building, same entrance) that there is no Dictor available that day…I go back Friday same time more people waiting in line…when door opens we file in and have to take a number only 12 numbers available…so I ask reception what now..she says call at 12 and see if we are seeing anyone else…I call and am told no..you can go to emerg at hospital, I ask if I come back Monday will there be a doctor available, she said there should be. I go back Monday at 7 am and am 4th in line..SO EXCITED..I get to see the Doctor that day and get my perscription..YAHHHH!!! It is frustrating to say the least…When you no longer have a Doctor and need your medication it is essy for someone else say it’s NOT an EMERGENCY. I was lucky that I HAD NOT COMPLETELY RAN OUT OF MY MEDICATION OR I WOULD HAVE BEEN SITTING IN EMERG. WAITING!!!!

  37. I have to say something about this…Ive been hospitalized many times, and have had to visit the Emergency department more than I’d like to admit to. First of all…the Fast Track is still part of the EMERGENCY Department. The purpose is to see non-critical patients without them having to get brought into the main Emerg. Is it a long wait? Sometimes it is! Why?! Because instead of people finding alternative times or places to refill prescriptions, or letting the sniffles or common cold they have run it’s course….they run to the Emergency room. A cold is not an emergency. Nor is prescription refilling! (A journalist should be pretty aware of how things work….and KNOW that if your doctor lost his license his prescriptions are no longer valid!)
    When going to Emerg you’re triaged…and serious patients are seen first! I have been at Emerg and have waited several hours…..and have also been there and was rushed right in! Over this holiday season, I went to triage, and she wheeled me straight in where nurses and specialty technicians ran tests and bloodwork.
    I’m sorry….I have issues with some things at the SAH ….but this article is clearly written by someone who is quite ignorant of any health care system…and doesn’t quite understand the definition of Emergency.
    It was over the holidays…so no doubt the doctors there were having to split their time between the 2 sides of the ER …and were probably seeing patients in the fast track as well.
    Seeing articles like this is extremely frustrating!

    • Yesss!!! Thank you for saying everything I was thinking. Sometimes the fast track has no physician so the ER doc runs over to help as they can. Shame on him for his grammatical errors as well as his ignorance to how the hospital really works. Move south if you don’t like it.

    • Ahmen. This clown just excretes privilege with every word he writes and claims to be an investigative journalist.

  38. You know what! I think the nurses etc are great! Yes, you might get a nasty one but by in large….just great. It’s the top heavy administration that’s causing this problem in health care…ask for a write-up on the heavily weighted administration and what they’re paid…cd cut them to a quarter and have all these excesses helping out the suffering patients.

  39. Ive seen some incidents that are very appalling. While a 93 old senior sat in waiting room in pain and sweats, a 4 year old child with abdominal pain. It was 5 hours before they were seen. But, in that time an individual threw himself on floor demanding a shot and yes he got full attention then walked out.

  40. If you have a real emergency you are looked after promptly. Such as my husband who has type 1 diabetes and a heart condition coming in with chest pains. He was in a room in the acute care section of the emergency department within minutes. Sorry if doctors are busy saving lives instead of filling your prescription. Shame on Sault Online for publishing this.

  41. I’ve been to SAH a few times in the last year for myself as well as a child and have received terrific care each time. I had to wait a bit, but I knew that going in; my concerns were not urgent or life threatening so I knew that I’d be at the end of the line. If you show up because you need medication in 5 days, that is about as low on the priority ladder as possible. You’re going to have to wait. Everyone thinks that their problem is serious, but guess what, there are people in the hospital who need care much more urgently than you. The fact that no one had come out of the door in a long time should indicate to you that they were busy behind that door, likely with someone who needed urgent care.

    For someone who bills himself as an “investigative journalist” Mr. Oldcorn shows an incredible lack of even the most basic preliminary research. Had he taken a look before the holidays he would have seen that there are indeed other walk in clinics in Sault Ste. Marie. He could have also checked the wait time online, and decided to wait for a better time if it didn’t fit his schedule.

    Thanks to all of the SAH nurses, doctors, specialists and everyone else at the hospital for all of their work. Don’t let whiners and complainers like the “journalist” who wrote this article get you down.

    • The nurse is so busy looking at her Facebook. I’m a nurse myself and that nurse just made my profession look horrible. I can say so much more but I will leave it at that

    • With his entire privileged attitude I highly doubt that every time he talked to the nurse she was only on Facebook. An if she comes out and calls 4 0r 5 names before someone responds it just proves that those people should not have been there in the first place.

  42. Maybe it is time we hold nurses in the same regard as we hold teachers. Nurses do not shape our kids…they save them from disease and death. I wish nurses had the same “perks” as teachers. Let’s compare what a 1st year nurse gets compared to a first year teacher.

    • Vince Paluzzi stop it! You are comparing 2 incomparable things. Give your head a hard shake…unfortunately, parents do not teach their kids respect for their teachers….I think, we all respect nurses and for good reason…

  43. I’m glad I live in Wawa, I don’t miss waiting in the ER or walk in. There is the option to see how many people are waiting and timeframe but from experience I can say that it’s always double.

  44. We moved here four years ago and have use the hospital. We couldn’t believe the care we got better than Toronto, and how fast they are. This hospital is the best compare to Toronto hospital.

  45. That’s unfortunate. I have had several experiences with the ER department and all have been positive!!

  46. Think maybe you can give this person a break? They just moved to the Sault, why the Sault? Oh well. You denie that you have been hearing similar stories since the hospital was built. However ask someone at the top how they treat staff start there.

    • Christopher Oldcorn isn’t that sad there’s a shortage of beds all the time, they have a hard time keeping doctors, workers get payed off or cut back on hours right from the bottom up to almost the top, and on and on and people wonder why everybody has a additude. People want to work, get a pay cheque they can live on, in a nice run happy environment and be proud of what they do.

  47. My daughter has a shunt in her head and it took us about 12 hours to get a MRI to make sure it wasnt malfunctioning. This was 2 weeks ago. I told them to take her IV out I was leaving and within the next hour she finally got the MRI. During the wait I called her neurosurgeon at SickKids to see if he could maybe get a move on things. He was in shock at the wait time and told me I should have just drove to Toronto SickKids emergency room. So that’s what I’m going to do next time. SAD!!

  48. The primary issue I have with the place is the fact that the staff doesn’t seem to give a crap about the patients.

    Very few and far between do we get a doctor or a nurse who’s actually willing to help.

    My wife had gone in multiple times concerning a worsening medical issue and would be sent home time and time again. One of these times she was yelled at by the doctor and nurse (in the same visit) because she hadn’t gone in there sooner. HELLO! After five visits with no attempts at resolving the issue with the exact same doctor, you start giving her trouble? Get real!

    Once she was able to meet a competent nurse who actually looked into her issue, she got the doctor (a better one this time around luckily) on board with starting the process to get her the proper help she needed.

    On a seperate visit, as I was in the main waiting room waiting for my number to be called, an older gentleman fell to the floor when being transfered over to a wheel chair.

    In place of helping the man, the staff began shouting at him to get up.

    The man could barely keep his eyes open let alone stand up. Why the hell would you be telling at him and not helping him up?

    Ridiculous joke of a medical facility!

  49. Slashed my wrist badly. Drove up there and sat in the waiting room almost 6 hours. Bled right through the bandage after an hour, asked for a new wrap. Was told to sit back down and wait to be sewed up So, in my frustration I allowed the blood to make rorschach tests on the floor…..for 5 hours. The art was beautiful. The wait was not

  50. Ya thats the usual. Dr wild is great but ive had some serious issues with the hospital. Like being locked in a room with the legal mediator for hours without being allowed to leave.

    Being brought in by ambulance with internal bleeding. Left to die in the er waiting room for 6 hours till an older woman spoke up and made the nurses take me cause i was dead.
    Going threw two surgeries and released after 6 hours after being shot up with morphine and tossed in a cab. Without doctors signing me off

    I have the paper work but there is no medical record in the hospital that says i was there or had that surgery.

    Hopefully i still have my organs…. i think

  51. Went there recently with a large piece of wood with a staple jammed into my nail bed from an accident and I had to sit in nauseating pain for 1 hour to be seen and then 2 hours in fast track waiting room and then another 2 hours in the small procedure room
    When I mentioned that I was in pain and asked how long they said it was “just a splinter”

    • How many people were behind the doors being treated? Maybe the patients brought in by ambulance with heart attacks and seizures etc were a higher priority

  52. Can’t speak for this person’s experience..but mine was awesome. I met with caring… efficient nurses and quality physician. I did wait but understand the triage and sicker people should come first. Be thankful you don’t have an American system

  53. Perhaps if there weren’t people abusing the resources you wouldn’t have waited as long … just a thought. ER isn’t somewhere you go when you kind of have a cough or stubbed your toe a week ago

  54. I moved here from St Catharines a few months ago , I was unaware of the extreme shortage of doctors in this town , as a senior I find having to go to walkin clinics for regular care rather unsettling , especially that I know of people who have been on a waiting list for over a year and still don’t have a doctor , why is that ? It certainly makes me question my decision to move here !

  55. Lol the comments….bunch of whiners that didnt get a red carpet entry into the hospital…jesus guys suck it up…if a 3rd world hospital is so much better than the sault area hospital then move away…bye bye
    They do their best with what they have..the world doesnt revolve around you.

    • Aaron Morin Actually. We pay more then 1st world taxes. These taxes fund the healthcare that we should be expecting for the exorbitant taxes we pay. No one, not one person, certainly not a 20 month old baby was expecting any red carpet. Service? Yes.

    • Jennifer Obreene dont pretend to imagine what goes on past the doors…they do the best they can with what they have…to label it worse than a 3rd world country is just plain ridiculous…everybody waits…be it a 20 month old or a 20 yr old….what’s to say they werent on the other side of those doors trying to save someone or multiple someones lives…but the crying baby or the guy with the broken arm or the person with the sniffles should be waited upon as soon as they walk in the door?? Come on…if u want to complain about how much of your taxes goes to healthcare (which isnt alot if u spend the time to do a little research) then u could always move to the states or out west and pay for your own healthcare..maybe that will give u more of an appreciation of our healthcare in ontario.

  56. They really dont care there. Christmas eve i sprained my ankle, looked like a damn baseball was in there. I went in, had an xray and when the doctor told me my results it was “yup its sprained, i could wrap it but its not THAT swollen so i wont waste my time”…… he could have handed me the damn tenser bandage and i could have done that my self. No one offered me ice. The wait was actually only 3 and a half hours, quickest i have ever seen it. Then again there was only 3 people ahead of me so i guess i was lucky.

  57. I agree that our emergency department needs an overhaul. They deal with too many “non emergency” patients to be effective. Individuals (not patients) waiting to renew prescriptions should not have to visit an emergency department for that purpose. There should be a separate space for all those poor individuals without doctors.
    The last time I was in the ER I waited from 7:30 pm to 2:00 am to see a doctor. In fact there were NO doctors at all until after 12:00 am.
    I think the doctors and nurses are overworked in that department and have a lot of stress. Maybe that’s why their attitudes and demeanour need adjustment. I’d like them to know that most of the patients don’t want to be there anymore than they do.

  58. I went to ER once because i had passed out and cut my head open. I waited 6 hours before i was seen, and then another 3 hours for the wound to be cleaned and stapled shut.

  59. It’s not just emerg that is horrible. Although I do have horror stories about that also. Like showing up to the emerge to find a one year old baby with a clearly broken collarbone that, when I showed up at 1 am, had been waiting for over 6 hours and no one even offered this poor mother and child a pillow to keep the baby comfortable. But when someone I know had their baby at the hospital they were given the wrong dosage of medicine causing her to go into full labour and have the baby all under an hour by hooking up her iv wrong and then moved to the post birth area and was not even offered a shower after birthing a baby and not checked at all. A few hours after the baby was born a nurse came in and finally discovered her iv was wrong and that she had been receiving meds this whole time instead of fluids. No one asked her if she was ok or how she was feeling the entire time. When we went to leave the hospital there was 5 nurses sitting in the center area all on Facebook and laughing. And when I complained to the hospital about these incidences they replied with “oh sorry you had to go through that, wish there was something we could do. Were going to look into it.” What a joke …. I would rather pay for health care then be made feel like shit for needing help! If this is what our tax dollars pay for it’s a waste if you ask me!….

  60. I spent a few hours in the pit of emerge. Merely like 2-3 hours recently and saw what they go through behind those metal doors. I was appalled. They still managed to care for us and we appreciated every check in etc. I saw nurses cry and police come through several times. My sister was there all day and saw three deaths.
    I truly believe, in my heart of hearts, they are doing their very best.

  61. I hate to say I agree. But I do.
    I try to go as little as possible and ONLY if emergency.
    My 20 month old dislocated his elbow. He was in severe pain. I’m talking couldn’t move without pain. And try to teach a baby cause and effect; not going to happen. So while a baby, sat in screaming pain, not ONE person in 2 hours saw a doctor… not one nor were we offered an ice pack or anything. By this time I had to walk around the parking lot and a construction site just to occupy and keep his mind away from his pain. Periodically checking in to see if our number (35 ques later) was called.
    Apparently it was “lunch hour” he had dislocated his arm at the “wrong time”. We waited SIX HOURS on a baby howling in pain and experienced the same “no one going in, no one going out” for hours.
    It’s a shame.

  62. My husband and I have both needed our hospital in the past year and received such excellence in care. We need to remember EVERYTHING is triaged. If you need urgent care which hubby did they are on it …and fast! Every step of the way we were treated wonderfully, nurses and doctors who explained everything and truly cared about our well being. We are forever grateful for their kindness and expertise ♥️💯

    • My family has had need of the Hospital and the ER a few times since the new location opened. I have no complaints about the service we received and have nothing but praise for the staff we encountered and dealt with.

    • Darren Kudyba exactly too many people go in when they have the sniffles, then complain about how long it takes to see some one. they don’t care that the person being brought in by ambulance with a seizure and head injury got taken before them

  63. I don’t wanna burst this guys bubble…but this is nonsense. I’ll start here….Emerg is never near the main entrance. It avoids traffic problems for emergency services. Check the layout of almost any hospital in NA. Second…you’re not the only patient of “that” doctor. Since you just moved back to town, you join the thousands of other residents without a doctor. (You should have prepared in advance for your RX, since it is the holiday season, and knowing his license was revoked). Third…ER is busy. Almost ALL THE TIME. You could have checked their website to see the wait time. Finally…how much was your bill? I can agree with some of it…but seeing how your bio states you are “an investigative journalist who covers politics, social policy, economics, and international affairs. In the past, Christopher covered Syria, Israel-Palestine, and UK, US, Canadian, and Ontario politics”…maybe you can tell us how we compare to these other health care systems?

    • Matt Barbeau you have valid points. I’ll grant you that. But.. being he’s new to area I can see where he didn’t check or know about some of the stuff.. I myself have had good and bad. But more bad then good. Gallbladder attack doc says yep gallstones and send me home. The nurse was even floored on that one.. other times went in seen right away and everyone was amazing. Most don’t realize the stress.. fatigue.. and pain. Nurses and doctors accur during there long shifts. Let along the ones going in saying whatever to get there fix for the day…
      Now I’ve had insurance in Michigan, yes I’ve paid out of pocket and off my check.. and have lived here 15 yrs now. I’ll say I’ll take what I had in Michigan over the shit here. ( if I could afford it over there now, yes I’d have it still). Having to pay part of insurance and seeing a doc, having surgeries, MRI’S and other scans worh in a short time does make it worth paying compared to the long waits for scans.. surgeries.. and long ass wait times by some doctors who forgot what it means to be a doctor. Besides can not her them up here because there not paid what big city doctors get paid.
      I’ve seen so many kept in pain and such because they weren’t scheduled a scan or test in an appropriate time frame. There’s no need for it
      It’s a sad situation our social medicine has become. Years ago you couldn’t beat it.. now. I’d like to beat it with a stick

    • You’re absolutely right. This guy gives no thought to people who had to be there for actual emergencies or for other people at all. I doubt his claims about facebook too.

    • Linda Assiginack all valid points. I’ve had my own problems there…and in other cities. It’s not new to our area. I just wasn’t impressed with the article…I actually thought it was a blog, not an actual piece of journalism.

    • Christopher Oldcorn yup. I learned that you felt you could leave something to the last minute before the holidays, and then when something happens you feel you can blame and cast stones at others because you felt you should be able to get your issues felt with promptly and not have to endure the trauma of waiting

    • Fast track isn’t fast. Shouldn’t be called that. I had horrid experiences in various cities, but I guess it depends on who is working. What is cruddy is the fact that fast track should be fast and a doctor should be allocated just for that. I was sent home with pneumonia in Peterborough and went to Lindsay hours later. Jokes.

      • You should complain to the source then, the Provincial government…If they only fund 1 doctor for emergency and fast track, then that’s what they fund. How do you propose paying for this dedicated doctor? They’re cutting healthcare funding, not increasing it.

    • Christopher Oldcorn actually he has been suspended since September sweet heart!!! So don’t even … and disgusting you’d call him Mr touchy, when you are to remain UNBIASED in you’re articles for write ups. You’re a terrible journalist….

    • He took the bus. Read the story. And just because there is no bill attached does that mean we have to settle for this kind of care. All medical and non medical staff should be reprimanded if on social media during work hours!! Care should start at the door not in an exam room. Doesn’t take a med degree to offer ice, a pillow or a puke basin for crying out loud. They are always under staffed (bc there are never extras scheduled). SAH is not the only one so does not mean bc all hospitals run like that they have to also. Patients in Sudbury used to drive to Espanola to be seen quicker.

      • If you walk into a hospital that’s a pretty good sign you are not in an emergency situation even for the volunteer at the main entrance.

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