During the holiday season, many York Region doctors’ offices close and walk-in clinics operate at reduced hours, a situation that can lead to overcrowding at local emergency departments.
So Dr. Paul Cantarutti, Chief of Family and Community Medicine at Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre, has a few tips for accessing health care and staying healthy over the next few weeks:
1. Get your flu shot.
2. Have enough prescription medications on hand to get you through to Jan. 5.
3. Ask your doctor’s office about holiday coverage.
4. Visit holidayaccess.centralhealthline.ca to find out when walk-in clinics and urgent care centres are open in this area.
5. Get a copy of an up-to-date cumulative patient profile from your doctor. This is a summary of your medical history including medications, allergies and previous tests.
6. Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if you feel unwell and are unsure whether or not to seek medical attention.
7. Bring an up-to-date Health Card when you seek medical attention.
8. Bring all medications, including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs, when visiting a clinic or emergency department.
9. If you need urgent attention (you’re experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains, for example), call 911.