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Emergency Department

A large number of visits to the Emergency Department (ED) are not considered emergencies. Many of these health issues can be addressed at a clinic by a nurse or doctor or even taken care of at home. Seeking treatment for problems that are not emergencies can take up time and resources that could be better used by those who truly require emergency care. There is no hard and fast rule as to when to seek emergency medical services. Listed below are common situations that require emergency medical attention and some that do not. These are only guidelines.


                   When not to go to the ED                              vs.            When to go to the ED

  • health problems that can be treated at home
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness (fainting) if no injury
  • severe physical trauma
  • minor aches or pains
  • bleeding that does not stop
  • minor burns
  • continuous vomiting or diarrhea
  • cuts without continuous bleeding
  • sudden and severe headache


  • sudden chest pain or tightness

*Please call 9-1-1 immediately if you think that your health issue may be life-threatening*

Are you in the right place?

For advice on the right place to receive the care you need, you can get help through these sources:

What to expect when coming to the Emergency Department

Our ED offers 24 hour care / 7 days per week.  Our team is made up of experienced physicians, nurses and clerical staff who are there to support our patients and their families.

When you arrive you will be assessed by the Triage Nurse.  This assessment creates a priority list based on the urgency of your medical condition. The triage nurse will then ask you to proceed to registration to complete your registration or send you directly into the ED. As you wait, a nurse will be nearby to answer your questions and monitor your condition.  

Patients are seen by the physician based on their triage score and not on a “first come, first served” basis. Patients requiring the most urgent care must be treated first.  There may also be delays while we wait for your test result from the laboratory or imaging department. It is important to remember that wait times may vary and so people who have arrived after you may be seen before you. Your patience is appreciated.

What to Bring to the ED

When you come to the ED, or for any hospital or medical visit, be sure to bring:

  • Your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card
  • Medical insurance information if you live outside Ontario
  • All of your prescription and over-the-counter medications, including herbal supplements and vitamins
  • Up-to-date medication list from your pharmacy
  • Important information about medication allergies or past medical history

Can my Family Visit Me?

Our Hospital encourages family-centred care. In the best interests of the patient, and when visiting is not restricted, we request the following:

  • That families follow instructions given by the nurse or physician with regards to limiting the number or visitors and noise level.
  • That visitors respect the privacy of the other patients and not wander freely through the department.
  • That families have one person to act as their spokesperson to decrease confusion and make communication between staff and family members easier.
  • All visitors and patients must abide by our hospital code of conduct.  Aggressive behaviors will not be tolerated in our ED.

Why are you asking me to pay for Services?

A valid OHIP card covers most hospital services, but there are a few things that are not covered:

  • Ambulance charge of $45 (OHIP covers the remainder of the cost)
  • Medical equipment such as crutches, casts, knee immobilizers
  • Charges for a semi-private or private room, if requested by the patient
  • Transportation home from the hospital

If you are not covered by OHIP or your OHIP card has expired, you will be charged for your hospital visit as well as a physician fee.