Services & Clinics

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Quinte Health Emergency Care

Quinte Health hospitals provide 24-hour access to care for people experiencing trauma or sudden illness. We have Emergency Departments at our hospitals located in Belleville, Picton, Bancroft and Trenton.  For critical or life threatening conditions call 9-1-1, or go immediately to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED) if you or someone you love requires immediate medical attention.

When should I visit the Emergency Department?

Wait times in our emergency departments can be long.  Quinte Health is experiencing an extreme increase in the number of patients at all four hospitals.  Our hospitals are significantly impacted by the current province-wide staffing shortages, including nurses and physicians.  At times, we have to decrease the number of patients we bring into the emergency room at a time if we have fewer staff available during that shift.   

Please refer to this helpful infographic to determine if the Emergency Department is the right place to receive the right care based on the symptoms you are experiencing.  

Emergency Department Infographic

[ Click here to download infographic ]


If you need non-emergency medical assistance, you have many options:

  1. Contact your primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner).
  2. Visit Health Connect Ontario - 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get health advice, help navigate health services and find information.
  3. Visit one of the Local Walk-In Clinics in our communities.
  4. Use a virtual care option such as, (currently, access to specialist care only), Telus Health MyCare or 
  5. If you have an urgent medication refill, speak with your pharmacist. They can often provide short-term refills and other advice.
  6. Visit a Local Pharmacy to receive prescriptions for 13 common ailments, at no cost to you:
    • hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
    • oral thrush (candidal stomatitis)
    • pink eye (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)
    • dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)
    • menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
    • acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD))
    • hemorrhoids
    • cold sores (herpes labialis)
    • impetigo
    • insect bites and hives
    • tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease)
    • sprains and strains (musculoskeletal)
    • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  7. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and require emergency intervention, contact the Crisis Intervention Centre 

What to expect when you come to the ED 

  • Patients requiring hospital care are prioritized in the emergency department based on the seriousness of their condition, not the order of when they arrived in the department.    
  • Every patient coming into an emergency department starts receiving care the moment they meet the triage nurse. The triage nurse is specialty trained to conduct that important first assessment to see how critical the patient’s condition is. It’s that “triage” assessment that determines the order patients are seen within the department.
  • Our teams respond first to the most critically ill patients. That means patients that aren’t facing imminent, life-threatening issues will wait for longer periods of time. Read about the Fit to Sit program.
  • Those with non-urgent issues may experience a longer wait and we recommend they come with reading material or a device to help pass the time.  
  • We understand that patients waiting can feel terrible and uncomfortable – but in the hospital setting, we must care for the most timely and grave health issues first.  
  • We ask for everyone’s patience at this time and for your continued support and respect for our teams.

Frequently asked questions about the Emergency Department

What are the wait times?

Patients are cared for based on how sick or injured they are, not when they arrived. The wait time varies depending on how serious the conditions are of other patients coming into the emergency room.  

What are the hours of operation?

Quinte Health hospital emergency departments are open 24/7.

What do I bring?

To save time, please be prepared with your health card, a list of medications and allergies, and emergency contact information.  

Where do I park?

There is limited short-term parking for dropping off and picking up patients in front of the Emergency Department. Longer-term parking is available in the marked visitor lots. Click here for directions and parking information

What should I expect when I go home from the emergency department?

Your health care team will work with you to help plan when you will go home. 

Your doctor may write you a prescription for medication and a nurse will give you instructions on how to take the medication.

Try to arrange a family member or friend to drive or accompany you home.

Your health care team will work with you to coordinate any additional care that is required, such as home and community care services, care at another hospital or rehab services.

Do you have other helpful tips?

Prescriptions for Narcotics or Sleeping Medications: The emergency departments will not renew prescriptions for narcotics or sleeping medications. Under certain circumstances a one-time prescription may be provided, and only if the physician is able to determine through assessment that the prescription is medically indicated.

Fees: A fee is charged for medical equipment not covered by OHIP (e.g., crutches, cervical collars). The physician will charge $15.00 for return to work and sick notes.

Why am I waiting?

Click here for frequently asked questions and answers


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