Hamilton Health Partners Prepped for Respiratory Illness Season
Hamilton’s healthcare partners are asking for the community’s help in preventing the spread of respiratory illness and preserving access to the city’s urgent care and emergency resources as this year’s viral season is underway.
Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Public Services and the Hamilton Family Health Team are asking individuals ‘’to consider their various healthcare options for non-emergent health concerns, and to take the necessary precautions to minimize illness.’’
In a joint release, the group says Hamilton’s emergency departments are busier than ever, and those without serious health concerns will face very long wait times.
The release points to several alternate options available, from primary to urgent care.
“The fall season presents a unique challenge this year as we continue to grapple with COVID-19 alongside other respiratory viruses, says Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health.
She says staying home when you’re sick, and practicing good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene are ”critical to preventing the transmission of respiratory infections and helping to reduce strain on our community’s healthcare system.”
If you are experiencing a medical emergency you are encouraged to call 9-1-1 right away, while for concerns that can wait a day or more, you’re asked to make an appointment with your family doctor, or visit your family doctor’s after-hours clinic, if available.
To help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, the health partners suggest you get all the vaccines/immunizations that you are eligible for, including the flu shot and COVID-19 shot or booster.
The joint release said Hamilton Health Sciences is facing persistent staff and physician shortages, and capacity challenges related to the onset of the respiratory illness season, and increased patient acuity & volumes.
The team also acknowledged that many staff and physicians have been asked to work additional hours and ”we are grateful for their commitment to our patients and families,” the statement read.