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Seasonal pressures and high flu volumes among reason for overcapacity at The Ottawa Hospital

January 13, 2017 – The Ottawa Hospital is currently overcapacity among its inpatient population. As of Friday, Jan. 13, the hospital is at 108 percent capacity.

January is always a very busy time of year for clinics and hospital emergency departments throughout Ottawa and all of Ontario; The Ottawa Hospital is no exception. In addition to seasonal pressures, the hospital currently has 155 patients who no longer require acute care but who are waiting for a bed in a long-term care home.

Additionally, we have seen an increase in Emergency Department visits in the past weeks, in part due to high volumes of influenza activity in the community. As flu volumes will likely continue to rise, the hospital strongly encourages all community members to get their flu shot as soon as possible.

All patients presenting to our Emergency Department are triaged and treated as required. The Ottawa Hospital is mandated to care for the region’s most critically ill; a patient needing less acute care may occasionally be transferred to another hospital in the city so that The Ottawa Hospital can provide care to critically ill patients.

Because of the high volume of patients reporting to our Emergency Department, patients who do not require emergency care may experience longer waits for treatment than under normal circumstances.

Anyone who requires medical advice or treatment should consider all their options before coming to hospital emergency departments, including their family doctor, walk-in clinics, and Telehealth Ontario.

Ottawa’s health-care system has proven itself to be robust and we are thankful to the Queensway Carleton Hospital, the Montfort Hospital, and community health-care providers for their support during this period.