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Patients encouraged to use Urgent Care Centres for non-emergency care

Posted Feb 4th, 2010

The Niagara Health System is asking for your help in sharing the word about Urgent Care Centre services. The three Niagara Health Urgent Care Centres are a fast alternative for residents needing non-emergency medical care. With shorter wait times and fewer patients than ER departments, Niagara Health System Urgent Care Centres provide medical attention, lab and diagnostic testing for unexpected minor illnesses/injuries that are not life-threatening.

Here are some examples:

  • Sprains, sports injuries
  • Cuts that may need stitches
  • Minor burns
  • Minor abdominal pain (nausea, vomiting)
  • Ear, nose, throat or eye problems
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Fever
  • Coughs and colds, flu

Patient wait times at NHS Urgent Care Centres on average range from two to two and a half hours. Wait times for non-emergency patients in NHS ERs for comparable conditions and treatments range between six to seven hours.

There are three Niagara Health Urgent Care locations. Douglas Memorial Site Urgent Care Centre at 230 Bertie Street in Fort Erie and Port Colborne Site Urgent Care Centre at 260 Sugarloaf and Steele Streets in Port Colborne are both open 24/7. Ambulances take non-emergency patients to these two Urgent Care Centres. By going to Urgent Care Centres, patients will benefit from shorter wait and treatment times.

In St. Catharines, the Urgent Care Centre is located at Ontario Street Site, 155 Ontario Street. It is open daily, including weekends and holidays, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about walk-in clinics and urgent care centres in each local municipality, call Service Ontario at 1-866-330-6206 or go to www.ontario.ca/healthcareoptions.

For more information on Niagara Health System ERs and Urgent Care Centres, go to www.niagarahealth.on.ca.

About Hospital Emergency Departments

Hospital emergency departments and emergency services personnel across Niagara are extremely busy during winter months. It is important that Niagara residents know the options available to them for emergency and urgent care.
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your problem is serious. Here are some examples of when to go to the Emergency Department or call 911:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Stroke symptoms – dizziness; numbness/tingling in arms, hands, legs; sudden, severe headache; blurred vision; trouble speaking (Greater Niagara General Site is Stroke Centre)
  • Major injuries
  • Mental health issues

Emergency Departments, open 24/7, are located at the following Niagara Health System sites: Greater Niagara General Site (Niagara Falls), St. Catharines General Site, and Welland Site.

For more information, contact

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113
cwiley@niagarahealth.on.ca

Niagara Health System