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Emergency department wait times now online in real time

The estimated wait times for the BC Children’s Hospital Emergency Department (ED) are now available online, which can help you decide where to take your child should they require urgent care. 
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This online resource allows patients with non-critical illnesses and injuries to choose where and when to go, based on the shortest time to see a doctor. The wait times for our emergency department, and other area emergency departments and urgent care centres can be found on the ED Wait Times website. The times are updated every five minutes. 

Two sets of numbers are provided:
  • The average amount of time people spend waiting in the emergency department. This is counted between being seen by a triage nurse and being seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • The average total time people spend in the emergency department from when they arrive, to being treated and can go home (if they are not admitted). This is called “expected length of stay”.

 View emergency department wait times

Wait  times for emergency departments and some urgent and primary care centres in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care areas are also availble on this site. Please note the facilities listed that see children. 

Why do I have to wait to get care in the emergency department? 

Even though there are many doctors and nurses working in the ED there are often many patients who arrive in a short period of time. This can make it hard to see everyone in a timely way. Sometimes critically ill patients arrive who need the urgent attention of staff to help them. We try to see all patients as soon as we can.

Why do some patients get care quicker?

Patients are seen in the ED based on how hurt or sick they are. This means that people who need immediate care are seen first, even if you arrived before them. Please remember that you may not be able to see how injured or ill someone is by looking at them. 

Unsure what kind of care your child needs?

Read about when to bring your child to the emergency department, visit an urgent or primary care centre, go to your family doctor (GP) or a walk-in clinic, or call 8-1-1.

More information

Read the FAQ for more information on the ED Wait Times website. 

BC Children's Hospital
Children's Health
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