Virginia scores below average for emergency care resources

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's emergency rooms scored "below average" grades on a new medical association report.

The American College of Emergency Physicians just released it's nationwide report card, which grades emergency care resources state-by-state.

Virginia is ranked 18 out of 48 states nationwide with a grade of only a C-minus. In fact, Virginia scored lower in almost every category than it did five years ago.

According to the report, the grade reflects the high-demand for emergency room care but the shortage of hospitals, beds, nurses and physicians.

There is also a shortage of psychiatric beds but policy changes are imminent, says Dr. Jake O'Shea, President of Virginia's College of Emergency Physicians.

"We're working with stake holders to ensure that Virginians with mental health emergencies get excellent care," he said.

Meanwhile, neighboring Washington, D.C. is ranked number one in the country for emergency care thanks in part to the availability of medical facilities, an ample health care workforce, and the presence of the federal government, the report says.

Still, Dr. O'Shea says Virginia's emergency rooms are providing life-saving care.

"Virginia emergency physicians are standing by twenty-four/seven to provide care for any patient at any time for any problem," he said.

The full report can be found here:

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