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Elliot Lake hospital emergency struggling to stay open

St. Joseph’s General Hospital emergency department is going through similar staffing struggles as others across Ontario and is calling on the public to be diligent in their decision to visit the department.

Jeremy Stevenson, the Elliot Lake hospital’s CEO says the emergency department has narrowly averted closure due to staff shortages and is asking the public to only access it for true emergencies and to consider other options, such as tele-health or contacting their health provider to deal with less acute conditions.

Stevenson emphasizes the effort to maintain the department continues and the cooperation from the public is vital in keeping it open.

He adds while an emergency department closure is something they have yet to experience, they are not immune and continue to prepare for the possibility.

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Stevenson says there are options.

  • Please try to use the Emergency Department for the services it is designed for – true emergencies such as chest pains, respiratory distress, broken bones, lacerations, accidents, new neurological symptoms,

uncontrolled bleeding, loss of consciousness, physical trauma, etc.

  • Please try to ensure that your prescriptions are up to date and filled before they are past due.

If you require non-urgent care, please consider options such as:

  • If possible, seek medical care from your family physician through the Family Health Team
  • If you are someone who does not have access to a family physician, consider making use of the many

online services available to access a spectrum of medical care, including prescription renewals,

requisitions and referrals when needed, such as cloudmd.ca

  • For general health advice, call the new Health Connect Ontario service at 811 or chat online with a

registered nurse at Health Connect Ontario.

In emergency situations, call 911 as ambulances will always transport patients to the best location for care.

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