Find out the average wait time to see a doctor at Emergency Departments (ED) and Urgent Care Centres (UCC) across Hamilton.
Wait times are updated every 15 minutes. Due to rapidly changing demands and the need to see the sickest patients first, your own wait time may be more or less than the time displayed here.
- Please note that wait times may be longer than indicated below.
- Wait times are in constant flux and are influenced by various factors, including the volume and severity of patient cases at any given time.
- Patients are prioritized based on the urgency of their illness or injury, not the time they arrived at the emergency department.
- We ask for your patience and understanding as our teams care for you.
If you are in need of serious medical attention, or are having a mental health crisis, CALL 9-1-1.
When to visit an Urgent Care Centre
Visit an Urgent Care Centre for:
- Lacerations – deep cuts or wounds that may require stitches
- Sprains, strains, or deep bruises
- Mild to moderate asthma attacks
- Ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Upper respiratory infections
- Coughs and congestion
- Sore throats
- Insect bites
When to visit an Emergency Department
Visit an Emergency Department for:
- Severe bleeding
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain or pressure
- Broken bones
- Partial or total amputation of a limb
- Trauma or injury to the head
- Sudden dizziness or difficulty seeing
- Severe abdominal pain
If you are considering going to an ER with a condition that you’re currently seeing a specialist for, please consider contacting the specialist or hospital where that specialist works.
If you think an infant or child is experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 right away.
While all the Emergency Departments/Urgent Care Centres can care for children, the kids-only Emergency Department at McMaster Children’s Hospital provides the most advanced care for infants, children and youth under 18 years of age who have a serious illness or injury. The team is made up of healthcare professionals who are specially trained in pediatric emergency care.
Learn more about MCH emergency department.
If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Call or text 9-8-8, is for anyone in Canada who is thinking about suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. For more information about 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, visit 988.ca (previously known as Crisis Services Canada Line).
- Call the 24 hours Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905.972.8338 or online at coasthamilton.ca
- Go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has Emergency Psychiatry Services at 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton
- Call your family doctor
What are Emergency and Urgent Care Centre Wait Times?
This website shows the Emergency and Urgent Care Centre wait times for locations across the Hamilton region. The wait time posted refers to the length of time between when you arrive to the front desk to check in and when you see a doctor.
How will I be assessed for my turn to be seen?
The Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre does not work on a first come, first served system. It’s important to know that critical patients will be seen first, whether they arrive on their own or via ambulance. Upon arrival in the department, you will be assessed using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). You will be seen by a doctor based on that assessment. In simple terms, the sickest patients will be seen most quickly.
How do you calculate Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre wait times?
The wait time is calculated by averaging the time that each patient has waited over the last six hours.
Your personal experience may vary from these posted wait times based on a number of factors, including:
- Patients with more life-threatening situations arriving in the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre after you
- Volume of patients waiting to be seen compared to the number of doctors working
Who updates the wait times on your website? How often is it refreshed?
Wait times are updated automatically every 15 minutes using our computer systems and hospital data.
Why is this website available in French and Arabic?
Patients can request translation services in Hamilton Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres. Arabic is the most frequently requested language for translation. In Canada, French translation is also recommended.
How can I share feedback about my care?
If you would like to provide feedback, or request this information in another language, please contact:
- Learn your options if you’re having a mental health crisis.
- Get fast and free medical advice over the phone or in a virtual chat through Health Connect Ontario (Health811):
- There are many different healthcare services available in our community where a doctor is on staff to help you. Visit Need a Doc to find which one is right for you.
- Find a family doctor, nurse practitioner or specialist through Health Care Connect.
- Find local health and community services across Ontario on Health Line.
- Find a list of walk-in clinics in Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant.
- Visit your family doctor if your concern isn’t urgent. If you don’t have a family doctor, register here.
- St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Urgent Care 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 provider through secure video chat on a first come, first served basis, 7-days-a-week from 1:00-9:00 p.m. One issue per visit please. Click here to make an appointment online.
The St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre wait times are provided for general information only. Please be advised that wait times can change significantly and immediately, without warning, and are therefore not guaranteed. Patients will be seen based on their medical condition and the severity of their situation.
Due to rapidly changing demands and the need to see the sickest patients first, your own wait time may be more or less than the time displayed on this website.
The displaying of wait times for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences is for general information only and is not medical advice or a recommendation that you choose a different Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences clearly disclaims all liability for the use of this information and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences do not assume, and are not responsible for any liability whatsoever arising from any person’s use of this website, including any decisions made about their personal health as a result of using this website.