Urgent care centres bring ER relief


Nearly 30 years ago, the first urgent care centres, (UCCs) started popping up throughout the province to assist the community hospitals. Alhtough times have changed, the reasons for opening UCCs are still the same today.

At Cambridge Urgent Care Centre (CUCC), for example, the centre came about because of three emergency room physicians at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. “We sensed the need in the community for some place to handle the overflow of lower acuity emergency patients to be seen,” says Dr. Beth Vallieres, Medical Director, Cambridge Urgent Care Centre. Vallieres is also one of the founders of the centre which opened in 1997. “As a group of emergency doctors we saw an opportunity to dilute our high-stress emergency patients with some lower acuity care which would still provide us the opportunity to do the sort of things that we like (episodic care).” The centre maintains a very friendly relationship with Cambridge Memorial Hospital and at one time there was a lot of overlap in physicians between the two. Cambridge recognizes that CUCC helps an estimated 25, 000 people in the Cambridge community who are without a family doctor. “We take not only the overflow from emergency,” says Valllieres, “but we also provide primary care to a huge population of orphaned patients who have no family doctor.”

At St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton, the hospital itself developed a UCC for East Hamilton-Stoney because there had been a great expansion of that particular population, and a number of citizens and business leaders wanted local health services.

“We may have been the first ones in the area,” says Dr. Ross Allega , Medical Vice-President of St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton. “Originally there were only two in Canada, because you can’t just spring a hospital on every corner, and you shouldn’tÉand also you can provide some local services, and off-load some of the pressure, in the main emergency rooms in some of the downtown hospitals. I think this is a way to provide a great deal of service to non-urgent populations locally.”

Overall, Allega thinks you have to look at your community, the population of your community, the number of problems that are presenting to the emergency room or urgent care, and then decide whether it’s a useful thing to do. ” Each community has to make a decision on its own in terms of the number of services that it needs.”

Urgent Care Centres in Ontario

Urgent care centres have been an ongoing challenge for many hospitals for several decades now as populations grow and there is a growing shortage of physicians to serve these populations. Many hospitals have either built, have affiliation with, or give referrals to UCCs. The following list was provided by the Ontario Hospital Association.

Hotel Dieu Hospital
166 Brock St.
Kingston, ON
(613) 544 3310

Huntsville District Memorial Hospital
The North Wing Urgent Care Centre
Burks Falls, ON.
(705) 789-2311, or (705) 382 2900

North York General Hospital
Branson Division
RapidCare Clinic
555 Finch West
Toronto, ON
(416) 636 2525

Willett Hospital238 Grand Street North,Paris,ON(519) 442 2251

Ottawa Hospital General
Riverside Urgent Care Centre
1967 Riverside Dr.
(613) 738-7100

St. Joseph Hospital
2005 Joseph Street,
London, ON
Emergency Department entrance,
On Wellington St., near Grosvenor
1 866 313 5528

Port Arthur General Hospital
Port Arthur Health Centre
Thunder Bay
(807) 346 1000

Riverside Health Care Centre
6475 Wyandotte St. E.
(519) 974 5716

Durham Memorial Hospital
South Bruce Grey Health Centre
(519) 881 1220
Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sceinces Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 480 5858

Thunder Bay Regional Hospital
Health Sciences North
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ONÊÊÊ P7B 5E1
Toll-Free:Ê 1-800-279-4859
Direct:Ê (807) 343-2100
Email: info@nomp.on.ca

Trillium Health Centre
Queensway Site
150 Sherway Drive
Etobicoke, ON M9C 1A5
Main Telephone #: (416) 259-6671

Metro Urgent Care Centres
Bolton Urgent Care
18 King Street East
Bolton, ON
33 km NWÊ
(416) 741-2273

Etobicoke Urgent Care Clinic
100 Humber College Boulevard
Etobicoke, ON
17 km WÊ
(416) 741-2273

Falls Urgent Care
6150 Valley Way
Niagara Falls, ON
73 km SÊ
(905) 371-1881

Huronia Urgent Care Clinic
411 Huronia Road
Barrie, ON
73 km NÊ
(705) 792-0933

KinderClinic Children’s Urgent Care
146 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON
47 km NEÊ
(905) 720-2757

Metro Urgent Care Centre
80 Finch Avenue West
North York, ON
6.6 km NÊ
(416) 222-6007

Whitby Urgent Care
220 Dundas Street West
Whitby, ON
40 km NEÊ
(905) 668-7899

Other Urgent Care Information:

Telehealth Ontario gives you immediate and free access to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means quick, easy access to a qualified health professional, who can assess the seriousness of your symptoms and help you decide what to do. 1-866-797-0000 TTY: 1-866-797-0007

The Hospital for Sick Children provides you with 24 hour a day, 7 days a week poison information advice. 1-800-268-9017.

*For other locations, please see your Regional Municipalities of Ontario.