Our hospitals are under pressure. Please be patient with us as wait times may be longer than usual. Read more.

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A outdoor sign pillar directing to the emergency department at Juravinski Hospital
September 1, 2022

Update on hospital pressures

Service impacts and high wait times continue at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) due to high patient volumes, healthcare worker shortages and a shortage of available community resources to support patients who no longer need our specialized care. HHS also has one of the highest number of patients arriving by ambulance in Ontario and we are working hard to ensure safe care for everyone who needs it.

Patients and families should expect long wait times in our emergency departments (EDs). When a patient arrives, they will be triaged according to the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS).The sickest patients will always be seen first.

Additionally, as a result of these persistent capacity challenges, surgical and procedural activity remains at 75 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes. Some non-emergent surgeries and procedures may be rescheduled to accommodate emergency care. Emergent and regional services remain a priority, and we are doing all we can to maintain access to these critical programs.

We ask for our community’s patience and understanding as we work to resolve these issues and provide care to everyone.

Unless you are experiencing a medical emergency, please consider all of the healthcare options in our community before seeking emergency care:

  • A family doctor, for health concerns that can wait a day or more.
  • Health Connect Ontario, to chat with a registered nurse 24/7 via phone or web chat.
  • An urgent care centre (UCC), for health concerns that are not life-threatening, but can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment. Both HHS and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton operate a UCC in Hamilton.

To learn more about healthcare options in Hamilton, visit www.NeedADoc.ca.