13 hour ER wait for 62-year-old diabetic cancer patient

Last week's budget announcement of more healthcare funding to reduce hospital wait times can't come soon enough for a 62-year-old Dorval diabetic cancer patient who had to endure a long and frustrating wait at the E.R. at the MUHC.

Peggy Legault, a long time Royal Victoria Hospital cancer patient, ended up at the Royal Vic's emergency room three weeks ago with severe abdominal pain. The Dorval resident said she arrived at 5 a.m., was followed up with an ECG and was seen by a doctor 13 hours later, without any food, water, pain medication or a stretcher.

"I'm also diabetic so I felt I was getting shaky," said Legault in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

"I was in pain, I'm diabetic which makes me vulnerable, a cancer patient on chemo, makes me also part of a vulnerable group."

Legault said she had no complaints about the staff but the wait was difficult.

"Fourteen and a half years I've been probably 50 times to the E.R. (at the Royal Victora) but this is the worst I've ever seen," said Legault.

"Long and frustrating and very, very disheartening."

MUHC spokesman Ian Popple said that unfortunately this is the current reality in all emergency rooms across the city and the country, adding they do their best to find avaliable stretchers for patients in need.

"At the Glen specifically, we run at about 150 percent occupancy on a regular basis. That means we are stretched in terms of our resources abouve our capacity on a regular basis," sadi Popple.

"On top of these higher volumes, we see patients that are higher acuity - that means they are sicker than in other institutions because we're mandated to provide complex care to the population."

Legault has filed a complaint with the ombudsman.