Finding healthcare over the holidays

When and where to get healthcare this holiday

Here’s hoping we can stay healthy through the holiday period, but just in case, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) has outlined how to get care if you need it.

“We can’t stress enough that people need to be prepared and know how to access healthcare services during the holidays,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “We hope people don’t require emergency care over the holidays, but if they do, we are always open.”

  • If you are unsure if a trip to RVH’s Emergency department (ED) is required, you can call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. This is a free and confidential service providing health advice or general health information from a registered nurse. Please note that in emergency situations, you should call 9-1-1 first as Telehealth is not able to diagnose your illness or prescribe medicine.
  • If you do need to visit the ED, remember to bring your health card, along with a list of your medications, and remember, patients are treated based on how urgent their condition is and not on a first-come, first-served basis. At this time visitors are not permitted in emergency with some exceptions, such as accompanying someone under the age of 18, or at the discretion of the care team.
  • Always seek medical attention when you are experiencing pain or tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, or when you experience a sudden drooping in your face, difficulty raising your arms, and slurred or jumbled speech.
  • You should take your child to the ED if they have significant vomiting and diarrhea with very little urination. You should also take your young baby (under three months of age) to hospital if he or she develops a fever over 38.0 C (100.4 F) or if you have any concerns with a sick child of any age.
  • If your condition is not an emergency, there are multiple walk-in clinics in Barrie open during the holidays. It is best to call the clinics or consult their websites before heading out.
  • If you have a loved one who is spending the holidays in hospital, please note there are visitor restrictions in place at the health centre. Visits are currently limited and must be pre-booked with the patient’s care team. If you are unable to visit, messages can be sent to inpatients through RVH’s Best Wishes service which can be accessed on the RVH website at rvh.on.ca.
  • If you require a COVID-19 test, you can book an appointment at the testing clinic at Sperling Drive in Barrie, or Rizzardo Health & Wellness Centre in Innisfil. Testing clinics are closed on December 25 and have modified hours during the holidays. Future and same-day appointments can be booked online at rvh.on.ca.
  • If you have moderate flu-like symptoms and need to be assessed by a physician, the COVID-19 Cold & Flu Clinic at 29 Sperling Drive is open daily. This clinic is closed on December 25 and has modified hours on December 24 and 31. Please call 705-797-3120 and select option 4, to book an appointment.