(Peterborough, ON) – As flu season gets underway and seasonal illnesses begin to present themselves, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), Peterborough Public Health and the Peterborough Family Health Team are again working together to prepare for an expected increase in patient volumes in the coming weeks.
For the second year in a row, PRHC will open an additional 24 inpatient beds from December 2016 through to March 2017 to enhance patient care during the Health Centre’s busiest time of year.
“As usual at this time of year, we ask the people of our community to assess the urgency of their illness before deciding whether to seek care with their family practitioner, a community clinic or the Emergency Department,” said Dr. Mark Troughton, Chief and Medical Director, Emergency Department (ED) at PRHC. “We also ask for your patience if it takes longer than usual for a physician to see you due to an increase in the number patients coming through the department.”
“Visitors to the ED are encouraged to wear a mask if they have any flu symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain or headache, in order to protect others from potential exposure to the virus,” added Dr. Troughton. Masks are available inside the ED entrance.
PRHC would also like to remind the community that we now offer a Pediatric Urgent Care Clinic for children under the age of 18 with urgent but non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. The clinic, led by nurse practitioners and supported by pediatricians, will offer extended after-hours care throughout the month of December.
For more information and clinic hours: www.prhc.on.ca/cms/pop-urgent-care
The Peterborough Family Health Team reminds the community that family practitioners at clinics in the city and county will be offering same day appointments and extended-hours clinics. They encourage residents to consider these options before visiting PRHC’s Emergency Department.
“The Peterborough Family Health Team is here to care for you and your family, so please contact your doctor’s office to find out what is available to you,” says Dr. Kaetlen Wilson, Medical Director for the Family Health Team.
If you determine that your medical situation does not require urgent care, please consider the following options:
With the first cases of flu now confirmed in our community and across the province, Peterborough Public Health reminds residents that getting immunized is their best defence against the flu.
The flu shot is free and widely available at many local pharmacies, doctors’ offices and walk-in clinics. Residents can easily find out where the flu shot is available by visiting the Flu Clinic Locator at www.ontario.ca/flu. Peterborough Public Health continues to offer flu shot appointments for patients without a family physician by calling 705-743-1000, ext. 349.
“As Influenza circulates in the Peterborough community, the flu shot may help keep you well over the holidays. It also prevents you from spreading it to people who are at the greatest risk of getting seriously ill if they get the flu – seniors and young children," says Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, adding the flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age. Dr. Salvaterra also advises residents to avoid delaying getting the flu shot, because it takes two weeks to become effective, so sooner is better to reduce the chance of falling ill over the holiday season.
Peterborough Public Health, the Peterborough Family Health Team and PRHC would like to extend our wishes to the community for a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.
For more information:
Brittany Cadence, Communications ManagerPeterborough Public HealthTel: 705-743-1000, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
Renee Oortwyn, Operations AssistantPeterborough Family Health TeamTel: 705-749-1564, ext. email@example.com
Michelene Ough, Communications LeadPeterborough Regional Health CentreTel: 705-743-2121, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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