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Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
December 22, 2023

Health Care Options During the Holiday Season

Staff and physicians at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and Hamilton Family Medicine (HFAM) want to ensure everyone in our community stays safe and healthy this holiday season.

We understand health concerns don’t take a holiday. As wait times for care are higher than usual, patients and their families should know that there are many options for care in our community.

Staff and physicians continue to go the extra mile to care for those in need. We are here to take care of our community.

While SJHH and HHS emergency departments (EDs), including the kids-only ED at HHS’ McMaster Children’s Hospital, are always open for critical and life-threatening situations, Hamilton has other options for non-emergency situations that may better suit your needs. But always remember: if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 right away.

Read on for more information about healthcare options in Hamilton, or visit

Learn about your family doctor’s holiday hours

Make sure you are up to speed on when your family doctor is available over the holidays.

Your family doctor is your first stop for medical concerns and illnesses that are not urgent or life-threatening. Many practices offer weekend and evening clinics, 24-hour on-call services and/or virtual appointments.

If you don’t have a family doctor, or your family doctor is not available, you can visit a walk-in clinic for non-urgent care needs. You can find information about local walk-in clinics at Walk-In Medical Clinics – Hamilton.

Know the hours of local Urgent Care Centres

Hamilton has two urgent care centres that offer care by emergency-trained doctors who can address a variety of health conditions requiring immediate medical attention but are not life-threatening, including but not limited to: minor cuts and wounds that may require stiches, simple broken bones, sprains, strains or deep bruises, ear infections, fevers, coughs, congestion, sore throats, insect bites, rashes and scrapes.

Main Street West Urgent Care (Hamilton Health Sciences)
690 Main Street West Hamilton
Hours: 12:00pm – 7:00pm every day
The West End Urgent Care Centre will be closed Dec. 25 & Jan. 1

Urgent Care – King Campus (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton)
2757 King Street East Hamilton
Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm every day
The King Urgent Care Centre hours remain the same throughout the holidays

Virtual urgent care appointments are available

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Virtual Urgent Care services will remain open throughout the holidays. Same-day virtual appointments with a nurse practitioner are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Virtual Urgent Care services are for any adult living in southwestern Ontario with an urgent medical issue that is not life threatening.

Holiday Hours: December 24, 2023 to January 2, 2024

  • December 24: Open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • December 25: Open 1:00-5:00 p.m.
  • December 26-30: Open 1:00-9:00 p.m.
  • December 31: Open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • January 1: Open 1:00-5:00 p.m.
  • January 2: Open 1:00-9:00 p.m.

Click here for more information and to book an appointment.

Speak with a registered nurse 24/7 via phone or web chat

Connect with a registered nurse day or night to access safe and high-quality care and avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room. This service is an easy way to get connected to care for you or your loved ones.

To speak with a registered nurse 24/7 visit or call 811 (Toll free TTY line: 1-866-797-0007)

Hamilton emergency departments

There are four emergency departments in Hamilton (including the McMaster Children’s Hospital ED for those 17 and under). They are designated to treat patients experiencing any type of life-threatening emergency or trauma. Care is provided based on the severity of symptoms. This could include but not limited to: trouble breathing, bleeding that won’t stop, chest pain or pressure, major broken bones, partial or total amputation of a limb and traumas or injuries to the head, or severely ill or injured child.

Not all kids with respiratory illnesses need to go the emergency department. Unless your child is experiencing serious symptoms, talk to your family doctor or visit an urgent care centre. Please see the HHS health tips article.

If you think your illness or injury is an emergency or may be life-threatening, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

Mental health crisis support is available 24/7

For timely support or care for a mental health concern, you have several options:

  • If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1
  • Call or text 9-8-8, is for anyone in Canada who is thinking about suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. For more information about 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, visit
  • Call the 24 hours Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905-972-8338 or online at