Aug 2, 2021
Emergency room patients at the private University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. waited nearly six hours on average in July before being admitted or discharged. The wait to be seen averaged over two hours. This newly opened facility’s performance is another example of cuts to medical service.
First, the hospital is 30 beds smaller than the old facility it replaced. Prince George’s County, where the hospital is located, has only half the number of hospital beds per resident as nearby Montgomery County, which is more affluent and white. The county has only one fourth the beds per capita as Washington, D.C. But no one listened to the public health workers who pointed this out.
As the region re-opened this summer and more people took to the roads, more car accidents happened and the number of trauma cases shot up. Thirty percent more patients came to the emergency room than had come to the old facility. Meanwhile many patients came for regular medical care they had put off for over a year.
Administrators claim to be scrambling to add 17 emergency room beds and hire 43 more nurses. Given their track record, these numbers are nowhere near enough.