Alberta government says hospital emergency room wait times improving

The Alberta government says its prescription for reducing hospital emergency room wait times is working.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says its prescription for reducing hospital emergency room wait times is working.

Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky says in the past six months the median time for patients waiting for care in Edmonton hospitals has been cut to 11 1/2 hours from almost 16 hours.

He says the wait times in Calgary have been cut to about nine hours from 15.

Dr. Chris Eagle, acting CEO of Alberta Health Services, says the improvements were achieved by opening new hospital and continuing care beds.

The province says more beds will be open by mid May.

Eagle says the government is also hiring more home-care providers to ease pressure on hospitals.