Emergency care and treatment

KGH is Kingston's community hospital, but is also a trauma center for Southeastern Ontario. This means we specialize in providing care to the most critical emergency patients in our region.  We also are fully equipped to serve ambulatory elderly patients as well as patients with complex diseases who require emergency care. Our teams are also able to 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 need 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 alternative options for care page

Types of Care

When you arrive in the Emergency you will be assigned a 'zone' based on your care needs. The zones that you will find in our Emergency Care 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, there is a fee of $20.  This is payable to the registration clerk by cash only. 


The KGH 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 ask the registration clerk for information about how to find one.