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Quinte Health is currently experiencing a significant surge in patient volumes – a trend typically seen during the winter respiratory/flu season. 

To avoid heat-related conditions, we would like to remind everyone to remain hydrated, and limit your time in the sun, particularly for the elderly. Additional tips for staying healthy this summer can be found at HPE Public Health

We are also seeing an increase in COVID activity.   

This unseasonal surge is resulting in significant wait times.  

There are many other factors impacting wait times including:

  • Physician and nurse staffing levels, which affects the number of individuals we can care for simultaneously. 
  • Many of the patients our teams are caring for are acutely ill, waiting to be admitted to a hospital bed. When inpatient units are over capacity, our Emergency Department clinicians continue to provide care for patients waiting to be transferred to an inpatient unit. 
  • Strain on long-term care and home-care resources in our community, delaying discharges for patients that need continued support in order to be discharged from hospital.
  • Patients are seen based on the seriousness of their condition, not on the order of their arrival. Patients with non-life-threatening conditions will wait longer. 

We understand that this situation can be frustrating and inconvenient. If you do need to come to the hospital, please bring reading materials, activities for the kids, and anything you can think of to help pass the time.     

A lot has changed over the past couple years, including unusual patterns of care need in our communities. Quinte Health continues to work with our partners across the communities we serve on a myriad of initiatives to create capacity in the local health care system, including proactive recruitment for Emergency Department physicians in a remarkably competitive market. 

According to Stacey Daub, President and CEO, the need for care has never been greater. “The pandemic, our growing and aging population, the immense growth in the number of patients and complexity of their care needs have all contributed to higher demand, challenging our capacity.”

“We know it will take time for longer-term solutions to take root across our local health care system,” she adds.  “In the meantime, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience and preventative actions to stay well.  The community’s kindness and support mean the world to our teams.   Together, we can ensure that everyone receives the care they need.”

Know where to go to get the right care in the right place.

If it’s not an emergency and you have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, please reach out to them first, before coming to the ED. For residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties who do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, it is crucial to know where to seek medical care, especially when your health concern is not an emergency. Evaluating other options for care can help reduce the strain on our Emergency Department and ensure that resources are available for those in critical need.

Please consider the following alternatives for non-emergency medical care:

  • Visit Health811: Available 24/7 to provide health advice, navigate health services, and offer information.
  • Virtual care options: Utilize services like the East Region Virtual Care Clinic.
  • Local pharmacies: Receive prescriptions for 19 common ailments including acid reflux, acne, cold sores, dermatitis, menstrual cramps, UTIs, and more. As prescribing is optional, anyone with symptoms should contact their local pharmacist to confirm whether they prescribe for certain common ailments before visiting.

For mental health emergencies:

  • Contact the Crisis Intervention Centre toll free at 1-888-757-7766.  On-site hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Telephone response by a crisis worker is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This multi-disciplinary team is ready to respond to crisis calls and offer emergency mental health intervention.    
  • Quinte Health is a proud partner in delivering the national 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline . A safe space to talk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call or text 9-8-8 toll-free anytime.