VIDEO: First responders at the California State Capitol on Wednesday blasted hours-long wait times to transfer patients to emergency rooms.
Emergency health workers voiced their growing frustration during a hearing, saying the wait times are bad for patients and keep them from other calls. Some agencies reported waiting up to eight hours to transfer patients to emergency rooms.
Many reported waiting several hours because no one is available to receive new patients — a problem made worse as the COVID-19 Omicron variant stretches hospitals thin.
“It’s only a matter of time before a community member will die simply because they could not get to the hospital,” Chino Valley Fire District Chief David Williams said during the hearing.
Emergency health workers say the problem has been decades in the making, exacerbated now by staffing shortages and high demand due to the pandemic.