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Know where to get healthcare help over the holidays

The onset of flu season and the increase in social gatherings over the holidays means healthcare providers can expect a surge in the number of people seeking care at Christmas time. With physicians’ offices closed for the holidays, many of these people seek help from the RMH Emergency Department, which is open 24/7. It’s important to remember, however, that there are other health services available in the community that might be more appropriate, depending on a patient’s needs. 

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Accessing Care over the Holidays

The onset of flu season and the increase in social gatherings over the holidays means healthcare providers can expect a surge in the number of people seeking care at Christmas time. With physicians’ offices closed for the holidays, many of these people seek help from the RMH Emergency Department, which is open 24/7. It’s important to remember, however, that there are other health services available in the community that might be more appropriate, depending on a patient’s needs. 

Community healthcare providers are working together and have increased their hours of service over the holidays in order to improve access to care without overwhelming the Emergency Department and causing long wait times. 

The CKL Family Health Organization’s After Hours Clinic in Lindsay (55 Angeline Street N.) will be open on the following dates and times:

Dec. 25         CLOSED
Dec. 26-27    9:00am-noon
Dec. 28-30    6:00pm-9:00pm
Dec. 31          9:00am-noon
Jan. 1            CLOSED
Jan. 2            9:00am-noon

Regular hours resume Jan. 3:  Mon-Fri   6:00pm-9:00pm     Sat/Sun     9:00am-noon

The CKL Family Health Organization’s After Hours Clinic in Bobcaygeon (85 Bolton St.) will be open Dec. 21 5:00pm-7:00pm, Dec. 28 5:00pm-7:00pm and Jan. 4 5:00pm-7:00pm. Regular hours of operation are Wednesday evenings 5:00pm-7:00pm.

The Kawartha North Family Health Team’s After Hours Clinic in Bobcaygeon (100 East St.) will be open on Dec. 27 and Dec. 29 from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Regular hours of operation are Tuesday & Thursday evenings 5:00pm-7:00pm. 

The Kawartha North Family Health Team office in Fenelon Falls (50 Colborne St.) will be open to patients on Dec. 28 and 29 only. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd.

The Community Care CKL Community Health Centre in Lindsay (108 Angeline St. S.) will be open to see registered patients of the CHC on: 

Dec. 26           CLOSED
Dec. 27           CLOSED
Dec. 28           8:30am-4:30pm
Dec. 29           8:30am-4:30pm
Dec. 30           8:30am-4:30pm
Jan. 2              CLOSED
Jan. 3              8:30am-4:30pm
Jan. 4              8:30am-4:30pm
Jan. 5              8:30am-4:30pm
Jan. 6              8:30am-4:30pm

People may also speak to a Registered Nurse by phone (toll-free) by calling Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000  (TTY: 1-866-797-0007). You may also consider calling your family’s pharmacist for advice.

Understanding Influenza (The Flu)

Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by a virus. Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, weakness, body aches and headache. Influenza can lead to pneumonia.

Most people with the flu are strongly encouraged to avoid the Emergency Department to prevent spreading the flu to others, but it can be difficult to know when and where to seek medical help.  

To help people know when to stay home and when to seek help, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care developed an online self-screening tool at ontario.ca/flu. The website also offers tips for managing flu symptoms at home, which include drinking lots of fluids and taking basic pain or fever symptom relievers.

When to seek medical help

If you do not start to feel better after a few days or if your symptoms get worse, you should:
· Call your health care provider
· Call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 (toll free) TTY: 1-866-797-0007
· Visit one of the local After Hours Clinics

When to come to the hospital

Adults should come to the Emergency Department if they have flu symptoms and have difficulty breathing, can’t tolerate fluids or are concerned.

Children should be brought to the Emergency Department if their symptoms improve and then suddenly become worse. In addition, seek care if you notice any of the following signs:
· fast or difficult breathing
· bluish or dark-coloured lips or skin
· drowsiness to the point where he or she cannot be easily wakened
· severe crankiness or not wanting to be held or
· dehydration – not drinking enough fluids and not passing urine regularly.

 Patients are also advised to bring all medication you are taking when you come to the ER.

Protect yourself and others against Influenza

If you haven't been vaccinated, please consider getting the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact your healthcare provider or participating pharmacist.

To help protect patients and the RMH team against the flu, RMH has launched a new policy that strongly encourages all staff, physicians, volunteers and students who are not vaccinated against the flu to wear a surgical mask while in patient care areas. 

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RMH is recruiting Patient & Family Experience Partners

Volunteers have been playing an integral role at the Ross Memorial Hospital since 1904. Every year, the work they do and the ways they impact patient care evolves. This year, the Hospital is hoping to grow its ranks of volunteers by recruiting people for an important task:  Patient and Family Experience Partners (PEP).

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