South Shore Health is advising the public to expect longer than usual waits for non-urgent care at all of the District’s emergency departments.
The departments are experiencing high volumes of patients, creating delays in admissions and long waits for non-urgent care. There are a number of contributing factors including a high number patients in hospital waiting for long term care, a shortage of family doctors and other primary care providers as well as well as circulation of some common seasonal illnesses.
“We have also been made aware that Dr. Karamchand Gandhi’s office has closed indefinitely. Unfortunately this has left a large number of area residents without a family doctor, which is contributing to high volumes of patients in our emergency departments,” said VP Health Services Janet Simm. “Our staff and physicians are doing everything they can under very stressful circumstances to ensure the well-being of our patients. Safe patient care is our number one priority.”
If you require emergency assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department. All patients not requiring urgent care are asked to visit their family health care provider, call 811 for advice from a registered nurse or go to the nearest walk-in clinic (Bridgewater, Hammonds Plains or Tantallon). Patients who are willing and able to travel for care may find a family doctor in another community. For a list of practices accepting new patients visit the Department of Health and Wellness website. Your pharmacist may be able to offer advice regarding prescription refills.
“We understand and share people’s concern and frustration. We know how important it is to have a family doctor or nurse practitioner and are working with the Department of Health and Wellness and other partners to ensure people have access to the care they need.
"As an immediate first step we are exploring the possibility of creating a daytime walk-in clinic and hope to be able to share more details over the next few weeks. We are also continuing to work towards the development of a collaborative practice in Bridgewater, which we believe is essential in attracting new doctors and other health care providers to the area and creating a more sustainable long-term solution for the community,” said South Shore Health’s President and CEO Dr. Peter Vaughan.