According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average patient will wait nearly an hour to see a doctor, up from 38 minutes ten years ago.
The reason? Fewer emergency departments and more visits to them. Emergency room visits increased by almost 1/3 (32 percent) between 1996 and 2006 with 119 million visits in 2006. At the same time there were 300 fewer emergency departments to handle the need. In addition, ED beds fill up with patients who are waiting for a bed to free up so they can be admitted to the hospital. Read the rest of this entry »