December 19, 2018 – The winter season brings increased demand for health services along with holiday closures between Christmas and New Year’s. Influenza and seasonal injuries such as fractures drive this surge, leading to longer than usual wait times for those who don’t require immediate emergency care. Knowing where to go for care is vital this time of year, especially with the early start to the flu season, which may leave hospitals at, or over, capacity.
“It is important to know where to access information about health care services, especially during the holidays as Emergency Departments operate at full capacity,” says Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Chief Executive Officer, North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). “Be prepared this holiday season by taking steps to stay healthy and know your options if you get sick.”
Simple actions like getting a free flu shot, ensuring that you have all your prescriptions refilled before the holidays, and washing your hands often can help you stay healthy. More tips are available at northwestlhin.on.ca.
The website is a trusted and comprehensive source of health and community services right at your fingertips.
“We encourage patients to contact their own health care provider's office as the first place to turn for good information and continuity of care. In addition, Northwesthealthline.ca is a helpful tool for patients who are in need of health care services but are unsure where to go,” says Dr. Sarah Newbery, Vice President, Clinical, North West LHIN. “This central resource provides information on a range of options – often more appropriate options than the Emergency Department – in the patient’s local community.”