Update to phone lines at our Birchmount and General Hospitals: If calling through Birchmount main line (416-495-2400), add “7” when dialing an extension. If calling through General main line (416-438-2911), add “8” when dialing an extension.

Emergency and Urgent Care

Full-service Emergency Departments (ED) at all three SHN hospitals

nurse pushing gurney with patient on it
General Information

General Information

Our SHN emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have specially-trained ED teams of emergency care doctors, nurses, consultants, attendants, technicians, crisis/social workers, clerical/support staff and volunteers.

What We Do

  • Assessment and treatment
  • Stabilization and transfer to an appropriate area of care
  • Admittance or discharge with community follow up
  • A rapid assessment zone to expedite care for patients who are comfortable walking on their own who have a health issue that does not put them at imminent risk
Getting Emergency and Urgent Care

Getting Emergency and Urgent Care

When to go to the Emergency Department

Adults should go to the ED if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Sudden onset of weakness or dizziness, or loss of consciousness
  • Sudden changes in speech or vision
  • Head injury
  • Broken bones
  • Major sprains
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Large cuts or wounds
  • Unexpected heavy bleeding of any sort
  • Breathing difficulties

Children should be brought to the ED if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Head injury
  • Significant bone or soft tissue injuries
  • High, persistent fever (38.5°C or 100.4°F)
  • Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Significant lack of fluid intake (especially in a younger child)
  • Significant changes in activity level

These are not exhaustive lists. If you have any doubts about whether or not to visit the ED, it’s better to be safe and go ahead — especially for children.

When to go to the Urgent Care Centre

SHN now offers services in our Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Centenary Hospital. The UCC is an extension of the ED that treats patients six months and older with non-life-threatening sicknesses and injuries who do not require hospitalization or immediate surgery.
Conditions treated in the UCC include:
  • Fevers, coughs and colds
  • Infections
  • Earaches, eye injuries
  • Nose and throat complaints
  • Sports injuries (including sprains, strains or broken bones)
  • Deep cuts
  • Minor burns
  • Insect bites
  • Mild allergic reactions, skin rashes

Emergency Alternatives

Sometimes you are not in a medical emergency. If you go to the ED, you will likely wait longer because your condition is not as severe as other patients who are there. In these cases, it may be better to access another health-care provider or service.

Do you have a General Practitioner (GP) or family doctor? If you need an annual check-up, or care for a minor cold or flu, sore throat, minor sprain or strain, stomach upset or minor muscle ache and pain, you should make an appointment to see your family doctor. A family doctor is the doctor who should be following your health on an ongoing basis.

There are a number of resources available to help in the search for a family doctor:

These clinics, usually staffed by family doctors, are located in various retail malls and commercial settings, and are open during the daytime and after hours.

Here are some of the clinics in Scarborough. This list is not complete. Please consult your Yellow Pages directory, under the heading “Clinics,” for hours of operation and a location near you.

Walk-in Family Practice Clinic
3585 Lawrence Avenue East
(416) 431-0736

Doctor’s Clinic
255 Morningside Avenue
(416) 287-3100

Malvern Medical Centre
1333 Neilson Road
(416) 291-7719

Milner Health Centre
857 Milner Avenue
(416) 287-3611

Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential telephone service you can call to get health advice or general health information from a registered nurse. These qualified health professionals can assess your symptoms and help you decide your best first step. They can help you decide whether to care for yourself, make an appointment with your doctor, go to a clinic, contact a community service or go to a hospital emergency room.

The Telehealth Ontario service is provided in English and French, with translation support for other languages and a direct TTY number for those with hearing and speech difficulties. Callers can also be connected to medication information and health information audio tapes.

Call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. Visit the Telehealth website to learn more about this service.

Specialized Emergency Services

Specialized Emergency Services

How To Access Care

Contact Us

Birchmount Hospital

416-438-2911 ext. 2550

Centenary Hospital


General Hospital

416-438-2911 ext. 86300