Portrait of rural emergency departments in Quebec and utilisation of the Quebec Emergency Department

Emergency departments are important safety nets for people who live in rural areas.Moreover, a serious problem in access to healthcare services has emerged in these regions. The challenges of providing access to quality rural emergency care include recruitment and retention issues, lack of advanced imagery technology, lack of specialist support and the heavy reliance on ambulance transport over great distances. The Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services published a new version of the Emergency Department Management Guide, a document designed to improve the emergency department management and to humanise emergency department care and services. In particular, the Guide recommends solutions to problems that plague rural emergency departments. Unfortunately, no studies have evaluated the implementation of the proposed recommendations.

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