Kingston Health Science Centre has announced that due to “ongoing staff and physician shortages” they are reducing hours of its Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at its Hotel Dieu Hospital site for the long weekend.
Between Friday, July 1 until Sunday July 3, the Urgent Care Centre will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for “urgent, non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses that need to be addressed within 24 hours and cannot wait to be attended to by a person’s family doctor,” the release by Kingston Health Sciences Centre said.
“It was a difficult decision, but we must reduce hours this weekend in our Urgent Care Centre so that we can consolidate physicians and staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at our KGH site over the long weekend,” says President and CEO, Dr. David Pichora. “As the trauma centre for Southeastern Ontario, we must ensure we have the resources in the ED at KGH to meet the needs of the sickest people in our region, such as those who have suffered a stroke, heart-attack or traumatic injuries.”
The temporary closures come after KHSC sounded the alarm over a surge in patients across the hospital, “combined with ongoing staff & physician shortages & lack of post-acute beds in the community” has led to longer wait times in their Emergency Department.
Despite the reduction in hours KHSC said that there are some things you can do if you need care and an Urgent Care Centre is closed:
- If your family doctor is not available soon enough, attend a local walk-in clinic or visit a virtual care clinic at RocketDoctor.ca or GoodDoctors.ca.
- For an urgent medication refill, call your family doctor or speak with your pharmacist. Your pharmacist may be able to provide an emergency refill of your prescription. You may also contact your pharmacist for minor issues that might be managed with over-the-counter medications.
- For a mental health concern, call the 24/7 Crisis Line for Kingston and Frontenac at 1-866-616-6005 or for Lennox and Addington at 1-800-267-7877.
- For critical or life-threatening conditions that need immediate attention, please continue to call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department 24/7.
“Please know that we explore every other option before making a decision like this and it is always our utmost priority to provide high-quality care for everyone in our community,” added Dr. Pichora. “We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary change in hours of service may cause for our patients and families.”