Paramedics parked outside Michael Garron Hospital's Emergency Department

Increased pressures and patient volumes in Michael Garron Hospital’s Emergency Department and other services

The information on this page was last updated on November 3, 2022. To see the most up-to-date information about Michael Garron Hospital’s (MGH) Stavro Emergency Department, please visit

Like many other hospitals and healthcare organizations across Ontario, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is experiencing a very high demand for urgent, acute health services resulting in an increase in hospital admissions and longer than usual wait times for patients.

4 reasons for increased health system pressures

  1. Delayed medical appointments with more limited access to primary care (family doctors, nurse practitioners and others) during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients are coming to hospital sicker and need more intense care.
  2. More people are sick as we enter cold, flu and respiratory season and continue to deal with COVID-19. This is especially true in children and youth. Across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), paediatric hospitals are seeing increased volumes. This means community hospitals like MGH are managing patients that may have previously been transferred to paediatric hospitals.
  3. Long-term care homes across Ontario have decreased capacity due to staffing challenges and closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means patients are in hospitals for longer as they wait for a long-term care bed in their community – or at another suitable care facility – to become available. This affects the overall number of hospital beds available for patients who need acute care.
  4. Staffing challenges across the healthcare system mean there are a limited number of providers across all sectors, including community care, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations. In addition, many available providers are experiencing stress and burnout.

Your health is our top priority – how we plan to support you

At MGH, the safety of our community is our top priority.

We are putting many measures in place to help address these issues and ensure our patients and community members can continue to receive high-quality, patient-centered care across all units.

Measures include:

  • Increasing staffing in various departments;
  • Opening additional inpatient beds;
  • Expanding hours and staffing in our Child and Youth Emergency Zone;
  • Organization-wide investments to improve patient care and flow, expand staffing coverage models and support teams around the clock; and
  • Working with community partners to operate sites in priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto where local residents can more easily find and get care, including Health Access Taylor-Massey in Crescent Town and Community Outreach Centres in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park.

We are incredibly grateful to our MGH staff, physicians, learners and volunteers who have answered the call and continue to show up for their teams, patients and community during this unprecedented time.

We also thank our patients and community partners for their support.

Accessing urgent care in the Emergency Department

Given current health system pressures, please note patients may experience longer than usual wait times for various services at MGH, including in the Stavro Emergency Department.

If you need in-person urgent care in our Emergency Department, we encourage you to read these frequently asked questions to help ensure you come prepared and that our teams are able to support you as safely and quickly as possible.

If you are experiencing an urgent but non-life threatening health issue, we encourage you to contact your family doctor.

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