Councilman Gjonaj introduces bills to decrease emergency room wait times
Long waits in Bronx emergency rooms are prompting a councilman to push for change.
Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj is introducing three new bills that aim to cut down wait times in borough hospitals.
"We are not picking on any one institution, this is across the board," Gjonaj says. "We are creatures of habit. We have adapted to a certain way, we use emergency rooms in most cases when we shouldn't be seeking emergency room care."
The national average wait time at emergency rooms is around 30 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gjonaj, however, says some Bronx residents have told him they've waited up to eight hours.
The focus of the bills are to educate people on when to go to an emergency room and having the Department of Health study the effect of long wait times. Gjonaj also wants hospitals to be required to inform patients of wait times so they can better plan their trips.