Local healthcare partners prepare for busy holiday season

The Sarnia-Lambton Ontario Health Team has strategies in place alongside local healthcare partners in preparation for an expected increase in patient volumes this holiday season.

The Sarnia-Lambton Ontario Health Team has strategies in place alongside local healthcare partners in preparation for an expected increase in patient volumes this holiday season.

“As the rate of respiratory illness continues to climb in the community, local healthcare partners are coming together to ensure the residents have sufficient access to care during the upcoming holiday season,” says Nadine Neve, Executive Lead, Sarnia-Lambton OHT. “We all have a shared goal of taking some pressure off of the already strained hospital and avoid unnecessary trips to local emergency departments.”

With COVID-19 and other illnesses circulating in the community, the Sarnia-Lambton OHT is reminding residents of their local healthcare options.

“It really is vital for patients to check in with their primary care provider prior to the holiday season to find out what their office hours will look like,” says Dr. Vid Singh, Chair, Primary Care and Specialist Advisory Council. “There are several options that people can look into to find care should the need arise while avoiding the emergency room unless they are experiencing a true emergency.”

Holiday Healthcare Preparation

  1. Call your primary care provider first! Your family doctor or nurse practitioner are your best care providers for non-emergencies including the common cold or UTI. They know your history, medications and are your best place for consistent healthcare.
  2. For minor ailments, you can visit your local pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist and receive treatment.
  3. Refill prescriptions before the holidays. If you run out during the holidays, contact your pharmacist to see if they can refill your prescription until you can see your primary care provider.
  4. Find the holiday hours of your primary care provider and local walk-in clinics. You can call Rapids Family Health Team Access to Care at 519-491-6188, or Rural Access to Care (for clients of Central Lambton Family Health Team & North Lambton CHC) at 519-704-5003.
  5. Get your Covid-19 vaccine and your flu shot to protect yourself and those around you. Visit GetTheVaccine.ca to learn more and book and appointment.
  6. Know where you can access testing and treatment for COVID-19 and respiratory illness, including Rapids Family Health Team and Rural Access to Care. Visit COVID‑19 testing and treatment | ontario.ca for more information.
  7. Proactively reach out to agencies or organizations you regularly associate with (example: Canadian Mental Health Association, Alzheimer’s Society, etc.) to see what services are available during the holidays should you need them.
  8. Are you a caregiver? Respite care, which is short term accommodation and temporary relief for those who are caring for a family member or loved one, may be available if needed. Call Home and Community Care at 1-888-447-4468.
  9. Health 811 is a free, confidential service that provides health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-797-0007.
  10. To speak with someone to get connected to supports and services, call the Family Counseling Centre’s Community Navigators or visit: agefriendlysarnialambton.ca.
  11. For some, the holidays can bring an increased need for mental health supports, and a number of local organizations can help. Listing can be found here: Mental Health & Addictions – Age Friendly Sarnia – www.agefriendlysarnialambton.ca
  12. Access urgent care virtually through Urgent Care Ontario – urgentcareontario.ca

The Sarnia-Lambton Ontario Health Team extends warm wishes to the Sarnia-Lambton community for a healthy, safe and happy holiday season.

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