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Emergency room wait times have improved in Winnipeg, but we're still two hours above the national average.

According to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, wait times until initial physician assessment in Winnipeg hospital emergency rooms dropped from 5.5 hours on average in 2015-16 to 5.1 hours in 2016-17.

The national average is 3.1.

The data is from March 2017, and reflects the experience of 90 per cent of patients. According to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, there's been a 14.5 per cent drop down to 4.3 hours since then.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority converted the Victoria General Hospital emergency department into an urgent care centre this October, as part of a major overhaul of the health system here; Concordia and Seven Oaks will be losing their emergency departments in 2018.

According to the CIHI data, admitted patients were staying longer in hospital for fiscal 2016-17 than they were the previous fiscal year (up to 43.5 from 40.3), but WRHA acting chief operating officer and vice president for nursing and allied health professions Lori Lamont says since then there's been a 29.5 per cent decrease, and we're now below the national average of 32.6 hours at 30.7.

Lamont says in a release, "The CIHI indicators demonstrate that the initial planning and preparatory work leading up to the consolidation of health services across the region allowed our facilities to not only adjust successfully to the first phase of changes, but to thrive. We are pleased with the initial progress and are confident that our planning and preparation for future changes will ensure we continue to see improvement."

You can find live estimated ER wait times in Winnipeg here.