January 24, 2018

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Kitchener hospitals advise patients to choose health options carefully based on their needs

The emergency departments of Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital advise patients to choose their health options carefully based on their care needs.

The influenza season has led to very high emergency department volumes. Hospitals triage patients based on the urgency of their health need. Patients with less serious needs may have longer waits to see a doctor.

“While we absolutely will provide assessment for all patients who come to our emergency departments, our mandate is to care for the most serious and life threatening situations first. For patients with less serious needs, there are many other health options that can support their care,” said Dr. Irene Mitrana, who practices at both Grand River and St. Mary’s hospitals.

Patients should consider their health need and make a choice on the best avenue of care.  For less urgent needs, patients are advised to consider current emergency waits as well as locations and hours for local walk-in clinics (see page two for more information). Information is available at: www.grhosp.on.ca/ed-wait-times and www.smgh.ca/ed-wait-times/ .

Not all visits will be avoidable. If an emergency visit is necessary remember the following:

  • Bring your OHIP card or other medical insurance information;
  • Bring a list or supply of your current medications;
  • If you are coming to the department with a child, bring diapers, blankets and comfort items;
  • If you have a new or worse cough or shortness of breath, put on a mask and use hand sanitizer when you arrive in the department.
  • If you need to visit, try to bring only essential visitors with you.

For more information contact:

Mark Karjaluoto, Grand River Hospital, 519-749-4300 ext. 2788

Anne Kelly, St. Mary’s General Hospital, 519-749-6578 ext. 1501