People needing a prescription refill or a family physician's check-up when their doctor’s office is closed for the holidays should not resort to the emergency department of a hospital

Avoid unnecessary visits to the ER over the holidays

A Surrey Memorial Hospital doctor advises people to plan ahead when it comes to health care.

Hospital emergency departments are busy places, and during the winter months, visits to local hospitals can increase dramatically. Fraser Health is asking residents to help by taking simple steps to avoid unnecessary trips to your local emergency department during the busy holiday season.

“We know that emergencies and other serious health concerns happen every day, but some of the influx of patients during the holidays is related to people needing a prescription refill or a family physician’s check-up when their doctor’s office is closed for the holidays,” said Dr. Craig Murray, medical director for Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency department.

“People with serious health conditions need our emergency physicians and health care staff to be available when needed, so we are reminding people to plan ahead – check your doctor’s holiday hours and walk-in clinics in your area and get your prescriptions refilled well before you run out to avoid unnecessary trip to emergency during the busy winter season.”

Emergency department admits are triaged by level of seriousness of the symptoms. If you need to visit an emergency department, coming prepared can make your visit shorter. Keep a list of all medications that you take and known allergies with you at all times.

Other steps you can take to avoid an unnecessary trip to an emergency department:

• If you are unsure about what health services you require or where to access them, call 8-1-1. The toll-free HealthLink BC line provides 24/7 confidential health information in over 130 languages including Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin.

• Check your symptoms or get more information about a condition online at HealthLink BC www.healthlinkbc.ca or you can order a book format for easy reference at home.

• Take note of the weekend/holiday hours of your local pharmacy/drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date.

• Familiarize yourself with the locations and operating hours of walk-in clinics in your area. http://find.healthlinkbc.ca/

• Get your annual flu shot.

• Wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading and/or contracting viruses and bacteria.

• Rest is best. If you feel like you’re getting the cold or flu, drink plenty of fluids and take it easy.

• To avoid food-borne illnesses, ensure your cooking utensils, containers and food preparation surfaces are cleaned and sanitized after use, especially if they have been in contact with raw foods.

• Store food at the correct temperature (equal to or less than four degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit) and check that it is cooked properly before eating. http://befoodsafe.ca

• Follow basic safety precautions: Buckle up, don’t drink and drive, don’t leave open flames unattended, and keep alcohol and potential poisonous substances out of reach from children.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read