Understanding the wait at the Emergency Department

We're seeing an increased number of people visiting the Emergency Department. Brampton Civic Hospital's emergency department is the busiest in Canada. We want to help you avoid the wait as we work as quickly as possible to give every patient the care they need.

Here's what you can do to avoid the wait

  • Check with your doctor’s office for their holiday hours
  • Make sure that everyone in your family has enough of their medications to last over long weekends or vacation periods. This includes inhalers, oxygen, needles, glucose testing equipment, etc. 
  • Consider an alternative to the Emergency Department

When to go to the Emergency Department

  • Pains or tightness in the chest
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Wounds that may need stitches
  • Severe pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden severe headaches, problems with vision, weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
  • If your child is vomiting, has diarrhea and won’t eat or drink
  • When a baby under six months has a fever over 37.9 degrees C or 100 degrees F 
  • When a child over six months has a fever over 38.5 degrees C or 101 degrees F

Your alternatives

  • Walk-in clinics 
  • Family health teams 
  • Family practice offices with extended hours
  • Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 
  • More information: Ontario's health care options

See a list of local walk-in clinics and urgent care centre holiday hours. Please note that these may change without notice.

You may not need the Emergency Department

  • For laboratory testing you may visit a walk-in clinic that offers these services
  • For minor problems like coughs and colds, seasonal allergies, minor injuries, and more long-standing or chronic medical problems, you can get care at a family doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic
  • If you're not sure, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000

Get educated: How the ED works

Resource Center

Helpful links to the most useful lists and forms for health professionals.

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