Average ER wait in Alberta last year nearly nine hours

The Rockyview Hospital in Calgary is pictured in this June 8, 2011 file photo. (DARREN...

The Rockyview Hospital in Calgary is pictured in this June 8, 2011 file photo. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)

Katie Schneider, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

CALGARY -- Albertans are waiting longer in emergency departments than the average western Canadian.

But health officials say an 8.7-hour stay is an improvement from previous years and part of an improving health system.

On Wednesday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) released 16 new performance measures of the province's health system that officials say provides more accountability.

"Performance is improving, it's not like the system is going sideways, the system ... is actively improving," said Dr. John Cowell, AHS Official Administrator.

The measures don't currently include the time it takes in an emergency room to see a physician, but those numbers are expected later this year.

They do, however, reveal Alberta patients in 2012-13 waited 8.7 hours in the emergency department before moving to a hospital bed, more than the average of western provinces of 8.5 hours.

But Cowell said the length of stay is actually improving too.


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