St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Emergency Department is offering virtual care for individuals 18 years of age and older with an urgent medical issue that is not life threatening. You can now request a virtual appointment where you will connect with a physician through secure video chat on the same day on a first come, first served basis, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays). See Step 1 below to find out if this service is right for you. A hospital spokesperson says the virtual service was in the works before COVID.
If you have a family physician, they should be your first point of access for care. A virtual appointment with an Emergency Department physician may be the right option for you if you are having an urgent medical issue that is not life threatening and you are unable to obtain timely access to your family physician or you do not have a family physician.
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant decline in visits to the Emergency Department at St. Joe’s. Physicians became worried that people with urgent issues needing assessment were choosing not to come to the Emergency Department out of fears of contracting the virus. St. Joe’s is now offering a virtual appointment option for those who want to connect with an Emergency Department physician from home.
Virtual appointments are scheduled during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays). Appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
Administrative staff are responding to submitted forms between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. If you submit the form during these hours, you can expect to wait an average of one hour before hearing back. Outside of these times, we will not respond to request forms.
Once you have submitted the appointment request form, you will receive a notification of your appointment via email. If you are registered for MyDovetale, appointment details will be shared with you through MyDovetale messages.
In order to access this service, you will need:
Ontario Health Card
Computer, smartphone, or tablet with video and microphone capabilities
Zoom mobile application if using a smartphone or tablet (click here for a tip sheet on using Zoom)
E-mail (to access appointment link and reminders)
Quiet, secure space to engage in the virtual visit