Emergency rooms on the North Shore are overflowing, but the others in Eastern Quebec stand out

The North Shore below the provincial average

The regional average is below the provincial average with a length of stay of 6.41 hours. However, the figures for some hospitals in the region are comparable to those of the Montreal region, with a length of stay of more than 10 hours.

Average length of stay in emergency


Baie Comeau



5:25 a.m.

6:52 a.m.



10:30 a.m.

10:41 a.m.

The average length of an emergency room stay in Sept-Îles has jumped 94% in five years. For Hôpital Le Royer in Baie-Comeau, it is rather an increase of 56% from 2017-2018 to 2021-2022.

The average length of a hospital stay in Sept-Îles is 10:32 a.m. in 2021-2022, but these data are underestimated since they do not take into account patients on stretchers. According to data from the Ministry of Health, they stay longer, at 10:49 p.m. on average in Sept-Îles, which is above the Quebec average of 4:45 p.m.

In addition, documents obtained by Radio-Canada reveal that the gains made from 2014 to 2018 in relation to the time spent on a stretcher in the emergency room have faded in recent years.

The president of the Association of Emergency Physicians of Quebec, Judy Morris, explains that the lack of personnel can explain these data.

When we are busy with stretcher overflows, the staff takes care of these patients and sometimes it even has an impact on the patients in the waiting roommentions Judy Morris.

However, it should be noted that each region has a different reality with regard to the facilities and the number of inhabitants, which influences the length of stay in the emergency room.

The Bas-Saint-Laurent in first place in Quebec

The Integrated Health and Social Services Center (Integrated Health and Social Services Center) du Bas-Saint-Laurent ranks first in Quebec for the longest average stay in its hospitals.

Average length of stay in Bas-Saint-Laurent

Average length of stay in Bas-Saint-Laurent


3:51 a.m.


4:09 a.m.

The Quebec average for the average length of stay in a hospital is 8:24 hours. In Bas-Saint-Laurent, this figure is rather reduced by half and is equivalent to 4:09 hours.

The establishment with the shortest time in Quebec for an emergency room stay is the Local community service center of Pohénégamook with 1 h 28.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Health and Social Services Center of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Jean-Christophe Carvalho, explains this tour de force by better management of hospitals and initiatives implemented in recent years, such as the front-line access counter.

Portrait of Mr. Carvalho

The Deputy President and CEO of the CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Jean-Christophe Carvalho

Photo: Radio-Canada / Francois Gagnon

We have a performance that is very interesting. »

A quote from Jean-Christophe Carvalho, Deputy CEO of the CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent

Before the creation of this one-stop shop, we still had more orphan patients who should have immediately consulted the emergency department for something that could have been seen by another resource. So that, too, could have helped to modulate the pressureraises Dr. Carvalho.

Gaspésie and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine show the example

On average, the Integrated Health and Social Services Center de la Gaspésie et des Îles-de-la-Madeleine has a time of 5:10 in 2021-2022.

The time has still increased over the past five years, with 4:06 in 2017-2018. However, compared to the rest of the province, it is a slight increase.

The pandemic has certainly had an impact on hospital capacity and stretcher occupancy.

It required a reorganization, otherwise the emergency rooms could still have been more congested than what we observe. Although on the ground, we still see peaks of activity and people work very hard in emergencies to provide service to the population.explains Dr. Carvalho.

With information from Sophie Martin, Félix Lebel and Daniel Boily.


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