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October 27, 2017 11:50 pm

Northern Health Urges Appropriate Use of ER

Friday, March 11, 2016 @ 9:54 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Prince George residents are being asked to think twice before they head to UHNB’s emergency room.

Northern Health is urging “appropriate use” of the facility because the hospital is currently experiencing higher than normal cases of flu and gastrointestinal illness.

“We would ask the public for their support to allow health care professionals provide treatment to those that urgently require the care,” reads a news release sent out this morning.

In light of the request, Northern Health has also sent out some tips to help avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital, especially with spring break about to start.

– For non-urgent care, residents are asked to seek the service of their family doctor or of walk-in-clinics.

– Note the holiday hours for your local pharmacy and ensure prescriptions are filled appropriately.

– Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for confidential health information and non-emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week (or 7-1-1 for hearing impaired residents).

– If you have a cold, ask your pharmacist for advice.

– If you have concerns about your mental health, call the Community Response Unit at 250-565-2668.

– If you are concerned about a possible poisoning call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.


Walking a fine line here trying hard not to offend, but if you’ve ever had the misfortune to need to go into ER, it’s pretty obvious who is utilizing it for non emergency care. But, where exactly do you expect these people to get care. They live in the downtown/VLA area, they don’t always have cars, or cab fare, and a lot of times they get hurt in the evening. The current walk-in clinics aren’t in walking distance.

You want them elsewhere, build a clinic for the less fortunate in the downtown area, and have it open in the evening. It’s hard enough for just regular working people to get a family doctor, never mind the marginalized and disenfranchised.

And if NH wants to earn some extra cash, build a pay for use waiting room, where it’s quiet, and comfortable – no screaming detoxing addicts, and use the profits to help fund the clinic I suggested. Last time I had to be in the ER, I would’ve happily paid $100.00 to wait anywhere but that waiting room. If Air Canada and Westjet can give me a nicer place to wait at the airport – in exchange for a fee, why not give it a try in healthcare. I’m not asking to pay to get to the head of the line, I’m asking to pay to wait comfortably until it’s my turn.

Not going to the ER if I can’t help it, but not having a family Dr after being in PG for almost a decade now doesn’t help either. Walk-ins it is I suppose.

How about cordon off a couple of rooms in the hospital for a walk-in clinic. Then a lot of the people who go to the ER could be directed there.

    There needs to be a first nations health facility somewhere in Prince George. It’s not just about addiction issues or homelessness or whatever we think the problems are. It’s about traditional medicines and healing. They suffer from problems that may be better served by traditional aboriginal healing methods. Just a thought.

There is one downtown. It’s called the Central Interior Native Health Society.

    Is it open at the right times to take care of their clients? Just asking because it seems that ER gets inundated at times.

I’ve been to the ER a number of times at all times on a weekend, never seen a disproportionate number of any race of people in there. I have seen a lot of people passing through the ER on their way in or out from visiting friends or relatives who are patients in the hospital as I believe that is the only entry point in to the hospital after 8:30 PM.
I’ve seen my share of people with all range of injury or illness in there and yes some are loud and vexatious. This happens in any hospital you go to.
I agree, a clinic on hospital grounds would be able to take referrals from the ER.
I think there should be another entry point in to the hospital for visitors, would certainly cut down on ER staff stress with questions galore.

I guess people need to ask themselves the one question……Is this an emergency? If it’s not, don’t go.

    How many people do you think know when they have an emergency?

    I have used the emergency on several occasions. Once when I though I had a heart attack since I knew the traditional signs of a heart attack. I was not sure whether I had one or whether it was one or more false positive indicators.

    So how many people who have never had a heart attack know what it feels like to have an angina attack? Even the doctors have to take several blood samples on occasion before the medical indicators are there.

    It is always better to err on the side of safety.

    Not to mention that when you feel you ought to see a doctor on Thursday afternoon or Friday and you wait because you think it is getting better, the inevitable result is that on Saturday or Sunday it gets worse and the only place open is the ER.

    Same goes with waiting till the next morning of any weekday and discovering that your symptoms of some serious illness have gotten far worse by 8pm or midnight and your mind is telling you you are about to die.

Walk in clinic is about the only way to go. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a family physician, most of them only book appointments for routine examines, prescription renewals, etc. It can be almost impossible to get into your doctor if you are actually “sick”.

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