Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Emergency Departments Experiencing High Volumes

CHATHAM-KENT: March 18, 2015 -- With the change of weather and with children having some time away from school this week, a change in pattern and behaviour is underfoot. While some impacts may be positive, like a walk around the block, there may be other less pleasant outcomes within the community. For example, at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), the Emergency Department is experiencing a 10 – 15% higher than normal volume of patients, which coupled with reduced provider coverage as a result of March Break is increasing wait times.
“Although wait times always fluctuate, this significant increase in volume is resulting in increased wait times for some of our Emergency Department patients. We know that lengthy wait times have an impact on patient satisfaction so we felt it was important to communicate our current challenges so that those choosing to come to the ED for non-urgent care come prepared for a longer stay,” offered Colin Patey, President & CEO. 
If you come to the Emergency Department, please consider bringing a book or an electronic device that can be used to connect to CKHA’s Wi-Fi, available free in its ED waiting rooms.
CKHA regularly encourages those with minor or non-urgent conditions to consider alternate care locations such as their family doctors or primary care providers, the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres (CHC) or local Family Health Teams (FHTs), many of which have extended or after-hour clinics for their patients throughout the year. Please note that you must be an existing patient of the CHC or FHT to access their services.   If you are not a patient of the CHC and FHT, visit the Erie St. Clair LHIN website for a list of local providers, including walk-in clinics. Visit the “Health Service Provider List” section of their site for locations and contact information of local health care providers (including CHCs and FHTs):
Another option, available to anyone with an Ontario Health Card, is contacting a Registered Nurse 24/7 through Telehealth Ontario. That’s access to care right from your phone – at home, at a friend’s or in town visiting family. Call Telehealth Ontario to speak to a Registered Nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  1-866-797-0000   TTY: 1-866-797-0007
As always, call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency.
For more information, please contact:
Colin Patey
President & CEO
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
(519) 352-6400 ext. 6001

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