Outrageous wait times infuriate patients at Cape Coral Hospital


CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Two local mothers say what they and dozens of others had to go through Wednesday at Cape Coral Hospital was horrifying.

Christine Bubenheimer tells WINK News she took her 16-year-old daughter to the emergency room around 3 pm for severe stomach pains. She says the waiting room was packed to the brim, so they sat and waited. And waited.

“My daughter was hysterical, in pain for about a good solid four hours,” said Bubenheimer.

After more than seven hours went by without seeing a doctor, and with her daughter’s pain subsiding, Bubenheimer says they had had enough, and left.

“I was furious. It’s actually very scary to me because, what if her appendix had burst? Somebody could die in that waiting room and nobody would care! Would anybody even know?”

Melanie Colon went to the Cape Coral Hospital E.R. Wednesday as well. She said it also took about seven hours until she was finally seen by a doctor.

“When they finally called me back… everybody was applauding,” Colon told WINK News.

On top of all that, both women say two people noticeably high on drugs came into the waiting room and started harassing patients, drooling on their seats. Colon says she alerted the hospital administrator after staff didn’t take care of it. The two were eventually escorted off the property by police.

“Worst hospital experience you’ve ever had?”

“Ever. Ever in my life. It was horrendous,” Colon told us.

We reached out to Lee Memorial for comment. A spokesperson told us in part:

“Our goal is to have every patient see a doctor within 30 minutes of arriving in the emergency room. Because of higher than normal patient volumes (Wednesday) at Cape Coral Hospital we did not meet that goal. We apologize to any patients who were inconvenienced by a delay.”

The spokesperson also said Lee Memorial in 2015 has experienced a 9% increase in overall patient volume compared to 2014. She said the typical increase from year-to-year is just 1-2%. She said right now, they’re not exactly sure why there’s been such an increase.

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