Niagara area residents who need urgent care but do not have access to a family doctor can now schedule a virtual appointment with a Niagara health practitioner.
St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, London Health Sciences Center and Hamilton Health Sciences Center first worked together in February 2021 to provide virtual emergency care services through Urgent Care Ontario. They work together to provide urgent online medical treatment to adults, children and long-term care residents in their respective regions.
With the addition of Niagara Health to the collaboration, these services are now offered throughout the Niagara region.
This program is for people who do not already have a GP or who are unable to make an appointment with their GP and have an urgent medical condition or health problem that is not life-threatening.
Appointments are offered Monday to Friday from 9:00am = 4:30pm on a first come, first served basis whilst your GP should be the primary point of contact for treatment whenever available. Those in critical condition should use 9-1-1 instead of driving to the hospital themselves. People who have a medical emergency or whose symptoms worsen while awaiting a virtual appointment should go to their local emergency room or emergency center in person.
The purpose of the service is to provide patients with a fast and safe way to seek treatment for nausea, infections, mild COVID-19 symptoms and other minor injuries. Patients can schedule same-day appointments, and assigned medical professionals diagnose, suggest treatments, write prescriptions, and coordinate referrals to specialists and other community health providers in the area via secure video.
This service offers a new healthcare alternative in Niagara that works in partnership with Niagara Health’s Personal Emergency Care. Patients who have one should contact their GP if they think they need a physical exam. Residents who use the service and require a physical exam may be referred to the nearest emergency room where they can continue their visit without having to go through the diagnostic process again.
A virtual emergency service is designed to make navigating the healthcare system easier and more accessible for patients in Niagara. While anyone can use virtual care, it’s especially beneficial for Niagara residents who may not have a primary care physician, as patients can schedule a virtual urgent appointment on their phone, tablet, or computer.
Niagara residents are encouraged to take advantage of the newly available services and can make an appointment at the Urgent Care Ontario website. Residents can also learn more about the service by visiting the website.