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November 30, 2023

Weekly update on hospital capacity – November 30, 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.

We want to thank everyone for their ongoing patience as our staff and physicians work hard to care for all patients. All HHS sites, including our emergency departments (EDs) remain under significant pressure.

NEW this week:

  • The Ontario government is investing an additional $30 million to expand pediatric health services in the Hamilton region. This is part of the Ontario government’s recent additional investment of $330 millioneach year in pediatric health services at hospitals, clinics and community-based health care facilities across Ontario. Read the full release from the Ontario Ministry of Health.


  • The emergency department at McMaster Children’s Hospital is busier than usual due to an increase in respiratory illnesses.
  • Now’s a good time to make sure that kids and families are up-to-date on vaccinations including COVID & flu.
  • 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.
  • Masking is strongly recommended for all visitors in all HHS buildings. Individuals should not visit patients if they feel unwell or have symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, or a new rash.

Why you may have to wait when seeking care in our EDs:

Dr. Khalid Azzam, physician-in-chief explains why you may have to wait: “All patients are triaged when they arrive at an ED, so the most seriously ill patients are treated first. This is done using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale – a tool used nationally and internationally by EDs to prioritize which patients are most in need of care. Whether you arrive by ambulance or on your own, your care is measured on the same scale. Your wait time depends on how serious your illness or injury is compared to others who are also waiting.”

To learn more, click here.

Hospital activity – November 30

Funded Occupancy Rates:
Hamilton General Hospital 102%
Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre 102%
McMaster Children’s Hospital 105%
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 98%
ALC Patient Occupancy 251
COVID+ Patients 80
COVID+ Patients in ICU Less than 5
Active COVID Outbreaks 3