Urgent Care Centre over capacity, closes early

Hotel Dieu Hospital, a KHSC site. Photo by Josie Vallier.

The Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Urgent Care Centre closed about three hours early on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 1, 2022 due to reaching its capacity for the day.

“We have reached the number of patients we can safely and effectively care for today in the Urgent Care Centre with the staffing currently available,” the hospital announced at around 5:15 p.m. on Monday. KHSC advised residents to seek alternative care options, and to call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department in cases of emergencies.

KHSC first warned of likely early closings due to staff shortages at the Urgent Care Centre on Jul. 18, 2022. In that advisory, it said it would be able to care for a maximum of 120 patients per day, beginning on Jul. 20, 2022.

“With ongoing physician and staff shortages and growing patient volumes through the pandemic, hospitals across the country including KHSC, have been forced to make difficult decisions,” said KHSC’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, at the time. “We have exhausted all other options and recognize the inconvenience this will cause for some people in our community. We ask everyone to help us preserve care for those who need it most and only come to the UCC if your health concern is indeed urgent.”

The UCC is expected to re-open on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at 8 a.m.

According to the hospital, patients who arrive after the doors have closed will be encouraged to seek care elsewhere, such as a walk-in or virtual care clinic if they are unable to wait for the UCC to reopen the following morning. “After hours, all individuals who have emergent medical concerns such as uncontrolled bleeding or pain, or serious trouble breathing are encouraged to go to the closest emergency department,” the hospital said, encouraging residents to learn more about alternate options for medical care by visiting www.rightplacerightcare.ca

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