In the coming months, the instance of common colds, the flu, and a variety of other illnesses begin to increase – meaning trips to the family physician, nurse practitioner, and emergency department rise as well.
Each year, the holiday season presents the additional challenge of trying to address a higher volume of health care needs in the community with, at times, fewer resources as health care professionals try to squeeze in some well-deserved time off with their loved ones. This can lead to unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments and longer-than-usual wait times as a result.
There is a key resource available to help you navigate through the various closures and adjusted hours of operation if you do need non-emergency health care services over the holidays.
Erie St. Clair Healthline (www.eriestclairhealthline.ca) is an online listing of more than 1,800 programs and services available throughout the Erie St. Clair LHIN region, including Chatham-Kent. The site features a Non-Emergency Medical Services page that displays information including holiday hours, contact numbers, and locations for a variety of health care organizations including family health teams and community health centres. It also features pharmacies with extended hours and crisis intervention assistance.
“One of our goals as a LHIN is to provide information and referral services to our communities,” said Shannon Sasseville, Director, Communications, Public Affairs, and Community Engagement with the Erie St. Clair LHIN.
“The Erie St. Clair Healthline can help people find the right care, at the right time, in the right place and help prevent overcrowding at local hospitals. People can also call us at 1-888-447-4468 to speak with our Information & Referral team for details on which services are available over the holidays.”
If you are taking prescribed medications, it is important to ensure you have enough supply to get through the holidays. If you are running low, it’s a good idea to get your prescription refilled ahead of time or visit your physician or nurse practitioner in advance for further direction, to avoid unnecessary delays to your medication plan.
Of course, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1
or visit the emergency department immediately.
This article and photo has been
written and submitted by:
Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, Chatham, ON.
For more information about the Erie St. Clair
LHIN, please visit: www.eriestclairlhin.on.ca
or contact Shannon Sasseville,
at 519-351-5677 ext. 3225, or