As part of ongoing efforts to ease the strain in the local hospital systems, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is reducing hours at its Urgent Care Centre for the upcoming long weekend.
KHSC, which oversees the operations of many of Kingston’s hospitals, including Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH), said that the hours are being reduced “in order to continue to provide high-quality, reliable urgent care, despite significant and ongoing physician and staff shortages.” The temporary reduction of hours will only affect the Urgent Care Centre (emergency care) at Hotel Dieu, KHSC said in a press release on Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022.
Beginning Friday, Jul. 1 and continuing through Sunday, Jul. 3, 2022, the Urgent Care Centre at HDH will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for “urgent, non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses that need to be addressed within 24 hours and cannot wait to be attended to by a person’s family doctor,” the local health care organization relayed. The Urgent Care Centre at HDH will return to its regular operating hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Monday, Jul. 4, 2022.
“It was a difficult decision, but we must reduce hours this weekend in our Urgent Care Centre so that we can consolidate physicians and staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at our KGH site over the long weekend,” KHSC President and CEO, Dr. David Pichora, shared in a statement. “As the trauma centre for Southeastern Ontario, we must ensure we have the resources in the ED at KGH to meet the needs of the sickest people in our region, such as those who have suffered a stroke, heart-attack, or traumatic injuries.”
KHSC said that, anytime the Urgent Care Centre at HDH is closed, area residents are encouraged to consider the following health-care options:
- If your family doctor is not available soon enough, attend a local walk-in clinic or visit a virtual care clinic at RocketDoctor.ca or GoodDoctors.ca.
- For an urgent medication refill, call your family doctor or speak with your pharmacist. Your pharmacist may be able to provide an emergency refill of your prescription. You may also contact your pharmacist for minor issues that might be managed with over-the-counter medications.
- For a mental health concern, call the 24/7 Crisis Line for Kingston and Frontenac at 1-866-616-6005 or for Lennox and Addington at 1-800-267-7877.
- For critical or life-threatening conditions that need immediate attention, please continue to call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department 24/7.
As outlined by KHSC earlier this week, it is important that local residents ‘know where to go’ for their health-care needs. Currently, the shortage of staff, physicians, and surgeons, along with a shortage of post-acute-care beds, and an ongoing surge of patients following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are all compounding issues, resulting in a difficult situation, which KHSC has indicated they are currently investigating solutions for. For more information on ‘knowing where to go,’ visit KHSC’s www.RightPlaceRightCare.ca to learn about different services available in the community.
“Please know that we explore every other option before making a decision like this and it is always our utmost priority to provide high-quality care for everyone in our community,” Dr. Pichora said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary change in hours of service may cause for our patients and families.”