Here are a few guidelines for handling your health concerns in the coming weeks:
• For non-urgent care during office hours, call your family doctor or the doctor on call for the practice or clinic.
• Consider going to a local walk-in clinic. Call ahead to check the clinic’s hours.
• Try to see your doctor before the holidays if you have any developing health concerns.
• Note the holiday hours for your local pharmacy and ensure your prescriptions are filled prior to the holidays.
• Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 7-1-1.
• If you have a cold, ask your pharmacist for advice about over-the-counter medications to ease your symptoms. Remember, it’s not too late to get a flu shot.
• If you have concerns about your mental health, call the Fraser Health Crisis Line at 604.951.8855 or
• If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1.800.567.8911.
If at any time you believe you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to your nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1.
While emergency services at our hospitals are available 24/7, hospitals may experience higher than normal volumes during the winter months. A triage system is used at the emergency department to ensure priority is given to patients requiring the most urgent care.
Other tips to ensure you have a safe, healthy and enjoyable holiday season include:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, and carry an alcohol-based hand rub with you at all times.
• Get regular exercise and avoid overindulging.
• Drink responsibly.
• Get enough sleep.
• Keep activities fun and safe.
• Drive and walk with care in winter weather.
• Take a moment to ‘count your blessings’: gratitude can help boost happiness!
For more detailed information about how to stay healthy this winter, read our Use the ER wisely over the holidays article, check out Fraser Health’s My Healthy Westcoast Winter Toolkit and follow the #MyHealthyWinter hashtag on Twitter.(FraserHealth.ca)