Emergency care and treatment

Kingston Health Sciences Centre's Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site is Kingston's community hospital, but is also the trauma centre for southeastern Ontario. This means we specialize in providing care to the most critical emergency patients in our region. Our teams also consult with members of other specialized teams in the hospital to better assess, diagnose and care for you or your loved one. 

Our goal is for every patient to see a doctor within two hours of arrival. However, sometimes we can't meet this goal because of high patient volumes, or a number of very sick patients in need of intense or life-saving treatment. We understand that it can be frustrating to wait, but rest assured that we are working as hard as we can to see you in a timely manner. Please remember, the Emergency Department is for patients who are seriously ill or have suffered a major trauma or medical emergency. If you are not seriously ill or injured, we ask that you please explore other health care options. You can read more about these options on our Choose the Right Care at the Right Place page. 

Types of Care

When you arrive you will be assigned a 'zone' based on your care needs. The zones that you will find in our Emergency Department are:

  • Fast Track  - This zone is responsible for cuts, broken bones, sprains, or other less urgent needs.
  • Acute Zone - This zone handles patients who need intense treatment for severe or life-threatening illness or injury. 
  • Urgent Zone - This zone handles patients who present with issues such as abdominal pain. 

Sexual Assault and Family Violence program

The Sexual Assault/Family Violence (SAFV) program at KGH is available for you 24 hours a day,  seven days a week. If you have been assaulted sometime in the last seven days, please tell the triage nurse who will help you meet with the SADV team. We also provide services to any child who has been the victim of assault. For more information please see our sexual assault and family violence page

Doctor's Note

If you need a doctor's note for school or work based on the emergency care you've received, there is a fee of $20. This is payable to the registration clerk by cash only. 


The Emergency Department does not renew prescriptions for narcotics or controlled substances. All narcotics should be prescribed by your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor, please register to get connected with a primary-care provider by visiting Health Care Connect online at Ontario.ca/healthcareconnect or by calling 1-800-445-1822.