Emergency Department Alternatives

visiting the ED isn’t the only option


The Emergency Department at Erie Shores HealthCare is available to patients 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Visit the Emergency Department anytime you feel you require urgent medical or mental health care.

If any of the following apply to you or a loved one, you should call 911:

  • loss of consciousness
  • pain not relieved by pain medication
  • confusion
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulty
  • having thoughts of harming yourself or others 


*Please note, calling an ambulance does not necessarily mean you will receive care faster. All cases are triaged based on acuity, not on the method of transportation.


Not Sure If You Need to Visit the ED? 

When to call 811 

Everyone has health concerns from time to time. Access to expert health care advice when and where you need it can help you decide how to manage your physical and mental health and your family’s health.

When you call 811, a registered nurse will be available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Assistance is offered in English, French and other languages. 811 is a free, secure and confidential health care service available to all Ontarians.

When you call 811, your call will be received by an advisor who will securely and confidentially collect basic information and the reason for your call. You will then be transferred to a registered nurse who will complete a virtual triage assessment and advise you of the next steps.

Call 811 instead of visiting the ED if... 


  • You are feeling unwell and unsure what to do about it.
  • You have a headache that won’t go away.
  • Your child feels warm and may be running a fever.
  • You wish to speak to someone about a loved one with dementia.
  • You need information about healthy eating.
  • You noticed a rash that wasn’t there the day before.
  • You recently had surgery and have a question about how to take care of yourself after the operation.
  • You are concerned about your mental health and want to speak with a professional.
  • You are seeking information about health services in your area.
  • You have a chronic condition like diabetes and want advice on managing it at home. 

Virtual Youth and Child Urgent Care Clinic 

Connect with a children’s emergency department doctor at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre through secure video chat by calling the toll-free number below during clinic hours or requesting a virtual appointment during off-hours.

Click here to access the Virtual Youth and Child Urgent Care Clinic 


Looking for a service? 

Visit Health Connect Ontario to find everything from walk-in clinics to physiotherapists.

Click here to access Find A Service

Wondering about your Symptoms? 

Try this online symptom assessment tool.

Click here to access Symptom Assessment Tool