By Gordon Lambie
The Eastern Townships’ regional healthcare establishment is once again calling on people to tread carefully when it comes to visiting emergency rooms over the holiday season. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon The CIUSSS de l’Estrie CHUS’ Deputy Executive Director for Social Services and Rehabilitation Programs, Karine Duchaineau, reminded the population that hospital staff are also hoping to be able to have some time off at a time when visits to the emergency department have a habit of going up.
“During this time, our job is to ensure that services remain safe and available to the population, but there is also a need for members of the population to modify their behaviours,” Duchaineau said, highlighting both the large number of viruses circulating at the moment and the likelihood of falls or crashes that come alongside the arrival of winter.
Like many public health officials before her, the deputy director stressed the importance of not being afraid to go to the emergency department in actual emergencies, but she encouraged those with other options and less dire needs to try other things first. Chief among these other options is visiting one’s family doctor, for those who have one, or calling the newly expanded 811 phoneline for those who don’t.