Critical wait times at ERs from Ajax to Bowmanville have staff asking residents to consider other options if situation isn’t urgent

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Published October 31, 2022 at 10:37 am

Lakeridge Health and Durham Paramedics are reminding residents that if your medical situation does not require immediate attention there are other options available besides the emergency rooms of local hospitals.

Ensuring all Durham Region residents have access to emergency medical services, when and where they need it, is a “top priority” for Lakeridge Health and Durham’s Paramedic Services (RDPS). But with “critical” staffing shortages and high patient volumes dangerously increasing the time that ambulance staff are able to deliver their patients to local hospitals health officials want people to make the right choice for their medical care.

For anyone in medical emergencies that pose an immediate threat to life—where rapid medical intervention is critical and needed right away—please call 9-1-1 or head to the nearest Emergency Department. Life-threatening conditions include unconsciousness, trouble breathing, lack of pulse, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath or dizziness, severe bleeding, and other serious trauma or conditions. All people who arrive at a Lakeridge Health Emergency Department who are experiencing life-threatening conditions and/or are in a situation that poses a sudden threat to life are cared for immediately.

If your situation is less urgent, and does not require immediate medical intervention, Lakeridge Health and RDPS recommend considering options such as urgent care, walk-in clinics, primary care, and/or virtual care options in the community. A list of urgent care options is available on the Lakeridge Health website.

Please also use Lakeridge Health’s Emergency Department Wait Times Tracker. This online tool provides an approximate time to see a physician for non-emergency situations in Lakeridge Health’s four Emergency Departments. If you need serious and immediate medical attention, please head to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1 right away.

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