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Severe staffing shortages at QHC emergency departments

The emergency departments at QHC hospitals are experiencing considerable staffing shortages.

“This will significantly impact our emergency department wait times, particularly for those experiencing non-emergency health issues,” said Catherine Walker, QHC’s director of communications in a media statement Friday morning.

“We are asking that individuals feeling unwell please refer to the infographic (below) to determine if the emergency department is the correct place to receive care based on the symptoms you are experiencing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please do proceed to the nearest emergency department.”

Those in need of non-emergency medical assistance, are asked to consider the following options: contact your primary care provider, visit Health Connect Ontario (or call 811), visit a local walk-in clinic, or contact your pharmacist if you require urgent medication refills.

Patients are cared for in the emergency department based on how sick or injured they are, not when they arrived.

The wait time varies depending on how serious the conditions are of other patients coming into the emergency room. Those with non-urgent issues will experience a longer wait and Walker recommends they come with reading material or a device to help pass the time.

“We understand that patients waiting can feel terrible and uncomfortable. We ask for everyone’s patience and for your continued support and respect for our teams.”

For more information about these options and other information related to QHC emergency departments, visit: .

For additional context about the pressures facing hospitals, including local collaborative efforts to improve access to care,  refer to the latest information shared at the June meeting of the QHC Board of Directors.

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