Hospitals across Ontario are seeing higher volumes of patients. Here’s what you need to know

Like many hospitals and health care organizations across Ontario, Unity Health is experiencing higher than normal demands for urgent and specialized care. This is because of rising cases of COVID-19, other respiratory illnesses and capacity challenges.

Unity Health is making sure our patients have the best and safest care experiences. We are working with all the departments at Unity Health, and with other hospitals, to find ways to manage these challenges.

What to expect if you are visiting the Emergency Departments at Unity Health Toronto

If you are coming to the Emergency Department (ED) at Unity Health Toronto, you may experience longer wait times than usual during your visit. We understand that this is a frustrating situation for patients, and we thank you for your patience as we continue to work together to provide the best possible care experiences for all those we serve.

If your condition changes and you begin to feel worse while you are waiting, please notify a member of the Emergency Department care team immediately.

What to expect during your visit:

  • Every patient who registers in the ED will be seen by the health care team.
  • When you arrive at the ED, the first person you will meet is a Triage nurse who will review your medical information and do a brief assessment.
  • Every effort will be made to serve you as quickly as possible.
  • You may not be seen in order of arrival. Patients with the most serious conditions are seen first. The ED does not function on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You may need diagnostic images, blood tests or other services as part of your treatment. You may need to wait for these services.
  • You will see several staff members throughout your visit. If we ask you the same question a few times, please know this is normal and a way for us to ensure we have all of your correct information.

Alternate care options:

It is important to know all of the health care options available to you in the community.

If you are not having an emergency, please consider the following options for care including:

If you have an urgent medical problem that is not life threatening:

You can visit an urgent care centre without an appointment or referral. Learn more about how Urgent Care centres work:  www.ontario.ca/page/urgent-care-centres

You can make an appointment with Toronto’s Virtual Emergency Department: https://www.torontovirtualed.ca/

 A few examples of health conditions that can be urgent but not life threatening include:

  • bites and stings
  • skin infection
  • body ache
  • rashes
  • urinary tract infection symptoms
  • sprains and minor injuries

For moderate COVID-19, cough, cold or flu symptoms:

You can visit one of these community clinics for support. Please visit clinic website for more details on hours and eligibility:

If you are experiencing a medical emergency:

Dial 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department to receive in-person care.

We continue to do our best to provide you with care that is safe, compassionate and respectful. Please be kind to our staff, and remember that we have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of abuse, harassment, or violence.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to find solutions and serve you as best we can. 

Last updated February 02, 2023