Alternative options for care

Emergency departments are busy places and treat patients in order of urgency, not in order of arrival.

The Emergency Department at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site is open around the clock and staffed with doctors and nurses who are trained and equipped to treat the most serious illnesses and injuries. Please remember that the Emergency Department at the KGH site is for patients who are seriously ill or who 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.

Some alternative options before visiting the Emergency Department include:

your family doctor 

If your symptoms include a fever, sore throat, cough, earache, muscle and joint pain or skin lesions, it's best for you to see your family doctor.

Family Health Team

If your family doctor is a member of a family health team, you'll have access to an on-call doctor who provides urgent, but non-life-threatening care without an appointment after hours and on weekends. Ask your family doctor if he/she is a member of a family health team and how to contact the on-call doctor after hours. Family health teams in Kingston include:

Telehealth Ontario

Not sure what kind of medical attention you need? Telehealth Ontario, the province’s free health information hotline, gives you confidential 24 hours a day, seven days a week access to a registered nurse who will assess your symptoms and help you decide what kind of help you need and where to get it. Phone 1-866-797-0000 or use their TTY line at 1-866-797-0007.

Walk-in clinic

You don’t need an appointment to visit a walk-in clinic. If you need medical care for a non-life-threatening illness or injury, visit your nearest walk-in clinic for same-day care by a qualified doctor.

Urgent Care Centre  

When your condition can’t afford to wait, you’ll want to visit an urgent care centre. These care centres are similar to emergency departments in that staff members are trained in emergency medicine and equipped to perform blood tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests.

They are different from emergency departments in that they don’t accept ambulances or admit patients to the hospital. The Urgent Care Centre in Kingston is located at our Hotel Dieu Hospital site at 148 Brock Street and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days-a-week, 365 day of the year.

Statutory holidays

To see a list of where you can find non-emergency care during statutory holidays throughout the year, click here.