Mr. Speaker, Canada's emergency rooms are in crisis, a crisis so bad that fire marshals were recently called to the Royal Columbian Hospital in British Columbia. They said that the level of overcrowding is so dangerous that it cannot be tolerated.
This is not an isolated problem. It is a chronic national, lethal, systemic crisis that has to be rectified immediately. As an emergency room physician, I have had to treat people in hallways, on chairs and benches without the privacy and dignity these patients deserve.
The underlying problem is a lack of funds for hospital beds, chronic care facilities, and outpatient treatment health care workers. Canada's emergency room physicians are desperately trying to get the federal government to act in the name of patient safety but with no success.
Now, the current Conservative government has wasted billions of dollars leaving little room for federal spending on health. This is appalling. Will the government give an emergency injection of cash to tackle the ER overcrowding crisis, or will it simply stick its head in the sand and ignore this crisis? It is a matter of life and death.