Please consider your health care options

Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) is asking the public to consider their health care options before presenting to an Emergency Department. Our Emergency Department is currently experiencing high patient volumes. To avoid long wait times, the public is urged to keep the emergency department for emergencies only.

Priority will always be given to trauma and critical care patients. Patients with non-urgent medical issues may experience long wait-times.

There are options for receiving non-urgent care – including walk-in clinics throughout the region or virtual care. After-hours clinics can often treat non-urgent and minor illnesses and ailments, such as earaches, sore throats or prescription refills.

Individuals should not come to the Emergency Department for a COVID-19 test or to obtain their results. COVID-19 Assessment Centres provide COVID-19 tests. To book an appointment, complete a self-referral online by clicking here or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or proceed to your local Emergency Department. Emergency, critical and urgent cases will always be treated as quickly as possible.

About the triage process:

The NGH Emergency Department triage patients based on physical and mental need for care.

All Canadian health care facilities use the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) tool to determine the seriousness of a person’s illness or injury, and care for them appropriately, with the most critical being cared for first.

When patients arrive at the emergency department, a triage nurse categorizes their care as one of the following:

  • Level 1: Severe. These are conditions that are threats to life or limb. For example: cardiac arrest and major trauma.
  • Level 2: Emergent. These are conditions that are a potential threat to life, limb or function. For example: chest pains.
  • Level 3: Urgent. These are serious conditions that require emergency intervention. For example: asthma and frostbite.
  • Level 4: Semi-Urgent. These are conditions that relate to patient distress or potential complications that would benefit from intervention. For example: mild pains, such as an earache.
  • Level 5: Non-urgent. These are conditions that are non-urgent or that may be part of a chronic problem. For example: skin infections, back pain or ankle injuries.

Alternate options for less urgent needs:

Patients with less urgent conditions are encouraged to consider alternate options for care, such as their primary health care provider, pharmacist, after-hours clinic, virtual care or by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or proceed to your local Emergency Department. Emergency, critical and urgent cases are always treated as quickly as possible.

Media Contact:

Aaron Gautreau
Director of Communications & Public Relations
Norfolk General Hospital &

West Haldimand General Hospital

Office phone: 519-426-0130 ext. 2454

Cell phone: 226-931-5752

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