Emergency Department sign at Michael Garron Hospital

What you need to know before coming to Michael Garron Hospital’s Emergency Department

Last updated: November 3, 2022

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 wait times for patients.

Here’s what you need to know before coming to MGH’s Stavro Emergency Department:

Why are wait times longer than usual in MGH’s Emergency Department?

Staffing and capacity challenges are impacting all areas of the health system, including hospital emergency departments like MGH’s.

We are also seeing patients who are sicker or need more intense care because of delayed care during COVID-19 and cold, flu and respiratory season.

When should I come to MGH’s Emergency Department?

Our Emergency Department offers urgent care for people experiencing severe, potentially life-threatening illness or injury and who need emergency medical assistance. This includes severe physical trauma, loss of consciousness, serious bleeding and sudden chest pain, shortness of breath or weakness.

If you are experiencing an urgent but non-life threatening health issue, we encourage you to contact your family doctor. If your family doctor is not available, you can book a same-day online appointment using MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department.

If you are experiencing a sprain, fracture or small broken bone, you can use MGH’s E-Booking Portal for Minor Injuries to book an in-person appointment in our Emergency Department so you can minimize your wait time.

Many urgent care centres and walk-in clinics in East Toronto are also available to provide care for you and your family. You can also find health, social and community services near you using the East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) Service Directory or IamSick website.

How long can I expect to wait if I need urgent care in MGH’s Emergency Department?

Wait times to see a doctor, nurse and other healthcare providers in our Emergency Department vary. They are based on the time of a patient’s arrival and the severity and complexity of their medical issue. The sickest patients are always seen first.

Our team strives to ensure the time patients wait to receive care is as short as possible. If your condition changes or gets worse while you are waiting to receive care in our Emergency Department, please tell a staff member at the triage desk or a nursing station.

Please note the wait time to see a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider in our Emergency Department is different from the wait time to be admitted to the hospital from the Emergency Department.

However, both of these wait times are currently longer than usual due to staffing and capacity challenges across the health system.

How can I help ensure I have the best experience possible in MGH’s Emergency Department?

Our Emergency Department remains a safe place to get care. If you think you need in-person urgent care in our Emergency Department, we encourage you to come see our teams.

However, if you are able to, please bring the following items to help ensure our team can help you as efficiently as possible:

  • Health card (OHIP card)
  • Photo ID that includes your current address
  • Your phone number
  • List of your allergies and any medications that you are taking, including prescriptions or over-the-counter medications
  • A support person, such as a family member or friend, who can help share your medical history or provide translations, if needed
    • We allow one support person with every patient in our Emergency Department

If you are able to and are well enough, please also consider bringing a book or tablet and charger which may help pass the time. Read more about how to prepare for your Emergency Department visit.

We appreciate your kindness and patience as our team does their best to provide urgent care for patients as safely and quickly as possible.

Was this page helpful?