Dr. Mike: Emergency Room Waiting Time - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Dr. Mike: Emergency Room Waiting Time

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Have you ever wondered why it takes so long to be seen by a doctor in the emergency room?

A recent survey found the average wait in an emergency room is four hours and seven minutes. Dr. Mike explained on "Good Day" the problem is a result of a lack of primary care physicians. "Becauses there's not primary care providers out there, there's a very significant lack of them, many people use the emergency room as their primary care provider leading to long, long waits."

The survey focused on 1.5-million patients between 2008-2009. During that time period the average waiting time in the ER went up four minutes. Dr. Mike said about 17 states saw a decreases in waiting times, while others had significant increases. "When you're really sick you need to be in the ER. My point of contention is that if you have a primary care provider you call me first and we discuss whether you need to go to the ER."

Dr. Mike said many people said they weren't upset with waiting times. But they were disturbed by the lack of feedback from hospital officials about how long it would take to be seen by a doctor.

Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck has revealed he is suffering from Macular Dystrophy. Dr. Mike explained the ailment is "a condition that appears to be, at least in his case, a congenital one, that is fairly rare but can cause significant problems with vision." Macular Dystrophy affects the back of the eye. Dr. Mike said the condition could lead to Beck losing his central vision.

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