All too often people find themselves using hospital emergency departments for injuries or illnesses that could be treated by other health care professionals in the community. Sometimes this happens simply because people don’t know where else to go. Your local health system offers a wide range of service options to help support your health care needs including general health services, home care services, urgent and emergency care services and long-term care services. Know what your options are so that you can get the right help from the right health care provider when you need it.
General Health Care Services
A Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) can connect you with the care you need in your home or in the community, including home care and specialized support services. If it becomes too difficult for you to live independently at home, the CCAC can review available community services to help you, and when necessary, options for long-term care.
Family doctors identify, diagnose and treat a wide variety of health problems including non life-threatening illnesses and injuries; diagnose minor ailments before they become more serious; help manage chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis); and promote wellness.
Walk-in and after-hours clinics provide general medical services similar to the services offered in a family doctor’s office. Services are usually available without an appointment. Most clinics offer evening and weekend hours.
In addition to dispensing prescription medications, your local pharmacist can counsel you on the safe and appropriate use of these drugs, provide advice on over-the-counter products to treat minor illnesses and injuries, and help you in the management of chronic diseases (e.g. asthma, diabetes, arthritis).
Emergency & Urgent Care Services
Urgent care centres provide immediate care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries and are a great option when you can’t access your family doctor or a walk-in clinic. Urgent care centres have extended evening hours and are open on weekends.
Hospital emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the immediate diagnosis and treatment of serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries. When you dial 911 in the case of a medical emergency, you will be taken by ambulance to the closest hospital emergency department.
Health Care Service Links
Connect with a nurse by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for health advice and information through this free, confidential service. Access the service by calling 1-866-797-0000.
Get help with your search to find a family doctor. Use the link provided here or call 1-800-445-1822.
Link to a comprehensive medical directory of local health services including family doctors, walk-in/after-hours clinics, urgent care centres and emergency departments simply by typing in your postal code. For more information call 1-866-330-6206.
Connect to this free, confidential service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information about mental health services and supports in your community. Access the online database or call the Mental Health Service Information Line at 1-866-531-2600.