Emergency departments are at their busiest

Emergency departments at Island hospitals continue to treat high volumes of patients during this busy winter season.  

For non-urgent health care needs, Islanders are encouraged to visit their primary-care provider or walk-in clinic or call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered nurse. However, anyone with urgent medical needs should still call 9-1-1 or visit their nearest emergency department.

“Our emergency departments typically experience higher patient volumes during the winter months with seasonal illnesses, ailments, and injuries like the rest of the country,” said Dr. Tom Dorran, Health PEI executive director of Medical Affairs. “As health care providers, our priority is ensuring patients receive the right care by the right provider, when and where they need it.”

“Ultimately, if a person feels that they need to come to the emergency department, please do so and we will do our best to see you in a timely manner,” he added, noting the dedication of emergency department staff and their efforts to manage wait times for patients with non-urgent care needs.

On an average day, Island emergency departments see a combined 258 patients. Since late December, the daily average has been 301 patients per day, with a peak of 351 patients on December 28.

Examples of times to consider calling 9-1-1 or visiting an emergency department include - but are not limited to:

•    experiencing discomfort or tightness in the chest;

•    experiencing unusual shortness of breath;

•    experiencing abdominal pain;

•    experiencing prolonged and persistent headache or dizziness;

•    an injury may require stitches or involve a broken bone;

•    a child has prolonged diarrhea or vomiting; or

•    a baby under the age of six months has a fever of 38 C (100.4 F) or higher.

For information about walk-in clinic options and locations, visit Walk In Clinics. For the latest emergency department wait times, visit Hospital Wait Times.

Media contact:
Amanda Hamel
Senior Communications Officer
Health PEI
(902) 368-6135

General Inquiries

Health PEI
16 Garfield Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6130
Fax: 902-368-6136


Your Health Privacy

Media Inquiries
Phone: 902-368-6135

Health PEI Board of Directors

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If you are unsure what to do about a health issue or if you need health information, call 8-1-1.

811 logo