Know Your Health Care Options

Options to consider for non-emergency medical assistance: LHSC Emergency Departments extraordinarily busy

Our Emergency Departments (EDs) at both University and Victoria Hospitals, are experiencing continued high levels of patient activity. This is resulting in some patients facing significantly long waits as the most critically ill will be seen first. 

We kindly ask for continued patience when facing longer wait times for non-emergency medical care, and strongly encourage those with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries to consider the following options before coming to the ED:

  • Non-emergency medical assistance options 

First call your family doctor, nurse practitioner or their on-call service. If not available, consider visiting a walk-in or urgent care clinic. 

Non-emergency medical assistance includes treatment for illnesses and injuries such as:

  • Scrapes
  • Cuts
  • Sprains
  • Simple fractures or broken bones
  • Earaches
  • Fevers
  • Coughs and colds

Please note that the Urgent Care Centre may also be experiencing high patient volumes but remains the appropriate level of care for many non-emergency concerns.

Free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are available at grocery stores and pharmacies throughout Ontario. COVID-19 PCR testing continues to be available by appointment for eligible individuals. COVID-19 antiviral treatments are available in the community for free by prescription to those with COVID-19 who are at a higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19.

  • Serious medical injuries and conditions

Do NOT delay seeking care. Call 911 or go to an ED.

“We continue to see all patients who present to our EDs, but patients will experience varying wait times depending on the seriousness of their condition,” says Dr. Christie MacDonald, Citywide Chief and Western Division Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine at London Health Sciences Centre. “If you’re coming to be treated for something that’s less acute – like an earache or a rash that isn’t accompanied by high fever, shortness of breath or signs of infection – you will receive the care you need, but you might have a long wait. We understand that can be a frustrating experience, which is why we are encouraging our community to first consider an alternative option when seeking non-emergency medical care.”