Throughout the holiday season and during the winter months, Emergency Departments are extremely busy and visits can increase dramatically. Fraser Health is reminding the public to take a few simple steps to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.
- For non-urgent care during office hours, call your family doctor or the doctor on call for the practice or clinic.
- Consider going to a local walk-in clinic. Call ahead to check the clinic’s hours.
- Try to see your doctor before the holidays, if you have any developing health concerns.
- Know the holiday hours for your local pharmacy or drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date and filled prior to the holidays.
- Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 7-1-1.
- If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.
If at any time you feel you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.
Emergency services at our hospitals are available 24 hours a day, however, over the winter months, hospitals may experience higher than normal volumes. A triage system is used at the Emergency Department to ensure priority is given to those patients requiring the most urgent care.
More tips for staying safe and healthy over the holidays:
- It can be a very busy, stressful time of year. Slow down and enjoy it.
- Don’t drink and drive, get a cab or have a designated driver.
- Take care when crossing the street or driving. Short daylight hours and rainy weather makes driving more difficult and pedestrians harder to see.
- Wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Get a flu shot.
- Get regular exercise and eat nutritious foods.
- Everything in moderation, including alcohol.
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