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Emergency sign outside the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre's emergency department
November 2, 2023

Weekly Update on Hospital Capacity – November 2, 2023

Hamilton’s healthcare partners are asking for the community’s help in preventing the spread of respiratory illness this fall/winter season and preserving access to the city’s urgent care and emergency resources for those who need them most.

As part of this effort, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) will be sharing weekly updates about hospital capacity, and links to stories/health tips to support our community this fall/winter season.

All HHS sites continue to be under significant pressure. There is an increased demand for hospital services, including an increase in high acuity patients visiting emergency department (ED).

  • Juravinski Hospital ED visit are 10% higher, and Hamilton General Hospital ED visits are 3% higher than the same time last year resulting in more hospital admissions
  • McMaster Children’s Hospital  ED visits remain slightly below volumes seen last year but are steadily rising in alignment with the viral season

The Hamilton General Hospital remains on redirect for non-regional critical care to ensure that level-3 critical care capacity remains available for those requiring specialized care in our regional programs such cardac, stroke, burns , neuro and trauma.  Additionally, where necessary, some scheduled care is being deferred to lessen the pressure on patient flow and ensure HHS can fulfil its regional and critical care mandate. Staff absences due to illness and ongoing system-wide staff and physician challenges are also ongoing.

As the result of limited community capacity for patients awaiting discharge, the Satellite Health Facility (SHF), operated jointly by HHS and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is also consistently at 100% occupancy. Patients who no longer need hospital-based acute care can be transferred to the SHF to preserve hospital capacity for those that need it most.

We know that these pressures may result in longer wait times for patients and we are grateful for their patience. Everyone is reminded to get their flu shot as soon as possible and COVID-10 vaccination when eligible.

Watch – Dr. Sarah Khan, associate medical director of infection control at Hamilton Health Sciences, explains why it’s important to get the flu and COVID vaccines. –

A sincere thanks to all HHS staff and physicians for their tireless efforts to care for all patients.


Hospital activity – November 2

Funded Occupancy Rates:
Hamilton General Hospital 102%
Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre 114%
McMaster Children’s Hospital 93%
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 107%
ALC Patient Occupancy 266
COVID+ Patients 77
COVID+ Patients in ICU 5
Active COVID Outbreaks 1