Sick woman

Just like many of us do, family doctors and other health care professionals may shorten their office hours to spend time with their families and enjoy a well-deserved rest over the holidays.

Unfortunately, a health issue can arise at any time and choosing the best option for care can be confusing. Emergency services at our hospitals are available 24 hours a day; however, at times they may be very busy. Service is not delivered on a first-come first-served basis; instead, a triage system is used to ensure patients requiring the most urgent care are attended to first. Those with non-emergencies can experience long waits and may want to consider options other than the ER.   

Here are some options for handling health concerns in the coming weeks: 

  • For any health concern call your family doctor first. Your family doctor knows you and your medical history. Same-day urgent appointments may be available.

  • If your family doctor is not available check for walk-in clinic wait times and hours.

  • For trusted health advice call 8-1-1, HealthLinkBC, available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Speak with a representative who will help you find health information and services, or connect you with a nurse for health advice, a dietitian for nutrition information or a pharmacist for medication advice.

  • For an urgent medication refill speak with your pharmacist. Your pharmacist may be able to provide an emergency refill of your prescription, including medications for chronic conditions. Contact your pharmacist for minor issues that might be managed with over-the-counter medications.

  • For a child/youth mental health crisis, call Fraser Health’s START program at 1-844-782-7811 Call: 1-844-782-7811.

  • For a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911 Call: 1-800-567-8911.

  • For an injury or illness that requires immediate medical attention, but is non-life-threatening, visit an Urgent and Primary Care Centre. Find a location at

  • For mental health/substance use concerns, call the 24/7 Fraser Health Crisis Line at 604-951-8855 or toll free at 1-877-820-7444. 

  • For Surrey residents, if you or your loved one has an urgent mental health or substance use concern (that does not require. hospitalization), visit the Surrey Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care Response Centre

  • For critical or life-threatening conditions, including broken bones, severe breathing problems or severe bleeding call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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