Walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities provide a valuable resource for the residents of Durham region. The purpose of these clinics is to assist the public when they require non-urgent medical attention, but need to speak to a professional right away. It’s a great resource when you simply can’t wait to see your family doctor. Typical scenarios that are seen in our local walk-in clinics are minor cuts and wounds, sprains, infections, and cold or flu-like conditions.
Did you know there are twenty three urgent care and walk-in clinics in Durham region? For a full list, click here. Hours of operation vary by location, so it’s a good idea to call ahead if you need medical attention during the evening or weekend.
For more serious situations, a visit to the emergency room may be the best course of action. There are five local hospitals that provide emergency medical attention to the public. They are Rouge Valley, the Uxbridge branch of the Markham Stouffville Hospital, and Lakeridge Health in Bowmanville, Oshawa and Port Perry.
The Ontario Ministry of Health recommends that patients seek help from a walk-in clinic or urgent care facility under the following circumstances:
- You need medical attention, but the condition does not appear to be urgent in nature.
- You do not currently have a family doctor, or your doctor is not available at the present time.
- You need medical attention for a minor illness or injury. This may include a rash, upset stomach, scrape or bruise. Walk-in clinics can also provide assistance if you simply need medical advice or need to discuss contraception.
Most clinics can provide prescriptions – the same way a family physician would. Using Ontario’s walk-in clinics is free of charge, as long as you have a valid health card. If your card is expired, there may be a charge of approximately $50 that can be refunded if you return with your card at a later date.
Another option for non-urgent health care is a visit to your local Community Health Centre (CHC), with locations in Ajax, Oshawa and Scarborough. CHCs are ideal for health related advice and usually have access to dieticians, nurse practitioners, and social workers. Their services go beyond traditional health care and deal with important issues at a community level. Depending on your location, some facilities offer parenting education, domestic violence prevention and treatment, body image counselling and programs for teen mothers.
A safe and healthy community is a great place to live.