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Pressure on Emergency Departments continues

Posted Jan 10th, 2024

Niagara Health’s Emergency Departments continue to feel the strain of too many patients as the region grapples with an ongoing increase in respiratory illness.

Should you need to come to the ED for care, be prepared for long wait times.

Patients arriving at any of our ED’s should know what to expect, and know all their options.

Urgent cases seen first

When a patient arrives at the ED, one of our specially-trained triage nurses will assess their condition.

Patients with the most urgent needs are always seen first, even though they may arrive after other patients. We understand that waiting can be stressful and appreciate everyone’s understanding, patience and kindness.

When Niagara Health is experiencing a higher-than-usual volume of patients, you may receive additional information regarding your care.

Know Your Healthcare Options

Niagara Health operates three Emergency Departments in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ED’s provide care for patients experiencing serious or life-threatening conditions that require immediate attention, such as chest pain, severe injuries, breathing difficulties and suspected strokes.

Niagara Health’s Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) in Fort Erie and Port Colborne are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. UCC’s treat patients for injuries or illnesses like sprains or strains, minor cuts or burns that cannot wait for a scheduled appointment with a family doctor or other primary care provider.

Being informed about available healthcare options in your community can help you make appropriate choices for non-emergency situations. For minor injuries and conditions, primary care providers offer care across Niagara in different clinics and settings such as doctor offices, walk-in clinics, nurse practitioner-led clinics, community health centres, pharmacies and more.

How you can help

Everyone can play a role in an efficient, high-quality patient experience in our EDs. Here’s how you can help our teams during your visit:

  • Only use the ED in an emergency.
  • Bring an up-to-date list of medications with you.
  • Have your health card ready.
  • Let us know if your condition changes or you begin to feel worse.
  •  Be patient and respectful toward staff, physicians and other patients

Niagara Health System