Americans making more ER trips, waiting longer

If you had to make a trip to the emergency room this year, chances are you had to wait almost an hour to see someone. The average time that hospital ER patients wait to see a doctor has grown from about 38 minutes to almost 1 hour over the past decade, according to new federal statistics just released.

The increase is believed to be the result of supply and demand: more people arriving at ERs and fewer ERs available.

Overall, 119 million visits were made to the ER in 2006. That's up from 90 million in 1996.

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