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Southlake’s Chief of Family and Community Medicine offers tips for accessing healthcare this Holiday Season

With many doctors’ offices closed and walk-in clinics operating at reduced hours for the holidays, hospital emergency departments can get pretty crowded and seeking healthcare at this time of year can be a frustrating experience.

Dr. Paul Cantarutti, Chief of Family and Community Medicine at Southlake Regional Health Centre, has some tips that could keep you healthier over the holidays and make accessing healthcare this time of year a bit smoother.

Plan ahead

  • Get your flu shot
  • Check you medication supplies. If you don’t have enough to get you through to January 8, get your prescription refilled before December 23
  • Call your family doctor’s office to ask about their holiday hours and after hours coverage, so you know where to go if you need to see a doctor
  • Visit centralhealthline.ca*to find out when walk-in clinics and urgent care centres are open in your area
  • Get a copy of your up-to-date cumulative patient profile from your family doctor and take it with you when you seek care. This profile is a summary of a person’s medical history and includes a complete list of medications, allergies and important tests an individual has received
  • If you have health related concerns about the destination to which you are traveling to over the holiday, speak your family doctor before you go

If you do need to access care the following tips will help to make your experience a smoother.

  • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a nurse from the comfort of your home if you are feeling unwell and are unsure whether to seek medical attention
  • Ensure you have your up-to-date health card with you when you do seek medical attention
  • Bring all of your medications, including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs with you should you choose to visit a clinic or emergency department
  • If you feel that you need urgent attention, for example you are experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains, call 911
  • Call to confirm that the department or clinic that you wish to visit is open before coming to the Hospital or the Cancer Centre. If you require assistance with reaching a particular clinic area at Southlake, call 905-895-4521, ext. 2118.

As always, the Emergency Department open at all times during the Holiday Season.

Southlake wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

*centralhealthline.caisan easy-to-use, searchable online directory of in-home and community-based services, managed by the Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).

Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
Copyright © 2012 Southlake Regional Health Centre
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