During the winter months, unwanted viruses and seasonal illnesses spread quickly, causing many people to get sick. Due to this, Emergency Departments (ED) become overcrowded, resulting in excessive wait times and high demands on staff.
For this reason, Winter Clinics have once again been put in place in Family Medicine Group (FMG) clinics to lessen the burden on EDs across Quebec.
Users with minor medical issues, such as the flu and gastroenteritis, are invited to consult a family doctor in one of the three FMG-R’s on our territory that have added more walk-in spots for non-registered clients to help meet demand, explains Julie Simard, Planning Agent, Programming and Research. This includes: Diamant Medical Clinic, Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care (Super Clinic) and Forcemedic 3 (Westminster).
“When we talk about offering access to the right service, at the appropriate time, by the right healthcare professional, Winter Clinics offer just that – an alternative to the Emergency Department for all situations that don’t require that level of intervention,” says Kahina Slimani, Associate Director of General Services, Info-Santé/Info-Social and FMG-R-U. “The topic of decreasing overcrowding in the ED is chronic and recurrent. As healthcare providers, our responsibility is to put in place solutions and to inform the population. As citizens, we are part of the solution and we must inform ourselves on what exists and make good use of it.”
Other options include Info-Santé 8-1-1. By calling this service, users can speak to a nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round, which can also help avoid a trip to the Emergency Department.
Winter Clinic hours are coming to an end by late March. Therefore, it is important to consult the schedule on the website. And, remember that there are several other FMG clinics on our territory that may also have availability.