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Check emergency department status online and by phone this holiday season

This holiday season, residents of Interlake-Eastern RHA, as well as travelers who are seeking urgent health care, are advised to review emergency department status online at or by phoning 1-866-267-5818.

Schedules identifying physician availability are posted online at Click on the banner at the top of the page that says “Holiday emergency department schedules” or navigate to the page by clicking on the tab “Care in Your Hospital” then “Emergency Department Schedules”.

To hear a recorded message regarding the status of emergency departments in the region, call toll-free 1-866-267-5818 and follow the prompts.

“Every year we’re seeing more and more shifts being filled in emergency departments across our region. In fact we’re projecting 80 per cent coverage between December 22 and the 31,” says Interlake-Eastern RHA’s CEO Ron Van Denakker. “We try to keep the schedule as up-to-date as possible but unforeseen circumstances do occur where a physician may not be available as stated. For instance, on occasion a physician may accompany a patient on emergency transport – that means they need to leave the hospital for an undetermined period of time that won’t be reflected on the schedules.”

Van Denakker also stated that more care providers are available in the region and in more communities than ever. More people are able to make an appointment to see physicians in clinics for non-urgent health care needs as part of regular primary care.

“If people can get an appointment to see their physician or nurse practitioner, that means they don’t have to try and catch them in the emergency department. More robust primary health care means emergency departments remain available to people in need of life saving care which is truly what emergency departments are for,” Van Denakker said.

In the event that someone attends a hospital where a physician is not available in the emergency room, nurses on site will help people identify their care options.

If a health emergency arises, always call 911 or the local emergency care equivalent for emergency medical response. For non-urgent health-questions, call Health Links-Info Santé at 1-888-315-9257. If you are in need of prescription refills over the holidays and cannot get in to see your primary care provider your local pharmacy may be able to help.

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