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Emergency Department Wait Times

For life-threatening emergencies please call 9-1-1

When you're not feeling well, waiting in a hospital emergency department can be stressful.

Please remember, emergency departments provide care to those who are the most sick or have critical, life-threatening health conditions first. For more information on emergency department wait times click here.

The estimated emergency department wait times are approximate and are intended for information purposes only (see disclaimer).

Current Emergency Department Wait Times (as of 12:14 am)

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Charlottetown)
Patient Condition Number of Patients Waiting to be Seen Current Wait Time
Most Urgent 0 < 1 hr
Urgent 1 1-2 hrs
Less than Urgent 8 4-5 hrs
Total number of patients presently being treated by a physician:   20


Prince County Hospital (Summerside)
Patient Condition Number of Patients Waiting to be Seen Current Wait Time
Most Urgent 0 < 1 hr
Urgent 8 9-10 hrs
Less than Urgent 5 9-10 hrs
Total number of patients presently being treated by a physician:   12


Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times
Disclaimer


Questions & Answers - Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times
What is the 'Wait Time'?
How is the estimated wait time determined?
What does each patient condition mean?
Why are other people being seen before me?
Why are the wait times always changing?
How often are wait times updated?
What if my condition isn’t an emergency and I don’t know where else to go?
Q What is the 'Wait Time'?
A The estimated wait time is approximately how long it will take from the time you are registered to the time you are seen by a physician. 
Q How is the estimated wait time determined?
A The wait time is determined using an average of the wait times experienced by patients assessed in the same condition category based on presenting symptoms over the past few hours.
Q What does each patient condition mean?
A Emergency department staff assess a person’s health condition based on their presenting symptoms and categorize them as one of three patient types: “Most Urgent”, “Urgent” or “Less than Urgent”.
  • “Most Urgent” patients have potentially life-threatening conditions and require immediate emergency medical care.
  • “Urgent” patients are individuals whose health conditions have the potential to become serious.
  • “Less than Urgent” patients are individuals who have non-life-threatening conditions.
Q Why are other people being seen before me?
A Persons arriving at a hospital’s emergency department are quickly assessed to determine their current health condition based on presenting symptoms and other factors.  In an emergency situation, persons who are most sick or have critical, life-threatening health conditions are cared for first. All Canadian health care facilities use the same standard tool to determine the seriousness of a person’s illness and care for them appropriately.
Q Why are the wait times always changing?
A Emergency demand can change quickly. Wait times will change due to unforeseen circumstances such as a high number of critical patients who require more intense care.
Q How often are wait times updated?
A The wait times are updated every five (5) minutes.
Q What if my condition isn’t an emergency and I don’t know where else to go?
A

If you are unsure where you should seek appropriate treatment, please dial 8-1-1 and an experienced registered nurse can help.

If you do go to an emergency department, it is important that you do not leave the emergency department without first talking to staff about what other treatment/ care options may be available that are safe and appropriate. If your condition is not an immediate emergency there may be other options for care such as seeking care at your family physicianís office or at a walk-in clinic.

  • Walk-in Clinics provide medical care for individuals with non-urgent health care needs. There are several walk-in clinics located in many communities across Prince Edward Island, please call ahead to confirm clinic hours. For more information on walk-in clinics, click here.

Disclaimer:

These emergency department wait times are being provided for general information only. Please be advised that the wait times can change significantly and immediately, without warning and therefore are not guaranteed. Patients will be seen in the emergency department based on their medical condition and severity of symptoms presenting as determined by emergency department staff upon assessment.

Due to changing demands in our emergency departments, these wait times may not be the time you will need to wait once you arrive at the emergency department. The provision of emergency department wait times on the Health PEI website, or any other Government of Prince Edward Island website, is not medical advice or a recommendation of one emergency department over another.

Health PEI expressly disclaims all responsibility for the use of this information and for any claims, actions or suits arising from such use. Health PEI does not assume and is not responsible for any responsibility whatsoever arising from any personís use of this website or from any personís decision to access any of the services referred to on the website. Those relying on information presented on this website do so at their own risk, and neither the Government of Prince Edward Island, Health PEI nor any of their employees or agents shall be liable for either the accuracy of this information nor any actions taken based on the information.
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