According to the Health Ministry of Quebec, emergency room wait times in Montreal have increased from a median of 4.4 to 4.5 hours over the last year. With little hope that this number will decrease significantly over the next few years, The McGill Tribune has compiled a definitive list of the best and worst emergency rooms based on the following criteria: comfort of waiting area seats, availability of free snacks, free wifi, and waiting room aesthetics. Maximizing comfort and distractions from a horrible fall makes the excruciatingly long wait easier to bear. For the study, I visited each of the below emergency rooms and sat there for 48 hours.
Jewish General Hospital – ⅘
With high gray ceilings and only a 15-minute drive from McGill’s downtown campus, the Jewish General Hospital is a great option for your Blues-Pub-blackout-related needs. The cool atmosphere and somewhat comfy chairs distract you from your throbbing headache so successfully that you’ll forget why you’re even there in the first place!
St. Mary’s Hospital Centre – ⅖
St. Mary’s barely makes the cut—their waiting room is always cramped, does not have great refreshments, and has horrible carpeting. The subpar aesthetic makes for a strikingly painful wait when compounded with the pain of a protruding femur. It definitely doesn’t help that you’re sitting shoulder to shoulder with other patients.
Montreal’s Children Hospital – ⅘
Although the Children’s Hospital was the most colourful of the bunch, the emergency room nurses didn’t appreciate a full-grown manchild walking in and demanding cherry cough syrup to treat their mono. The festive seating and plush toys really made the rejection a lot easier, though.
CHUM – ⅖
CHUM puts the CHUM in Chum bucket, due to its very long wait times and disappointing vending machine options. The nurses constantly deflected my concerns with a heavy Québécois accent, making it the most authentic Montreal emergency room experience. As the last emergency room I visited, they did not seem to care at all about the blood clot I had developed sitting on waiting room chairs for the last week.