One-quarter more people registered at emergency rooms across the nation in 2012, compared to six years ago.
Over 470,000 people arrived at emergency rooms in 2012, a 1.3 percent increase since 2011, but a whopping 90,000 more than in 2006, the National Institute for Health Development said in a press release today.
Increases have only been recorded at larger hospitals, with ER visitor numbers at smaller and local hospitals staying at 2006 levels.
Two-thirds of patients arrived on their own, 19 percent were transported in an ambulance and another 12 percent were directed to emergency rooms from other medical departments.
In March, four major hospitals changed their system of evaluating emergency room patients, adding a fifth category for those, whose problems can wait for a GP visit.
A National Audit Office report in January found that 39 percent of ER patients show up with concerns that should be addressed by their general practitioner, prompting the North Estonia Regional Hospital to introduce fees for GP-type complaints.