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Important information about coming to hospital

Date: 17/05/2024

Yukoners coming to WGH (in particular) can anticipate some delays and longer wait times than you’re used to. This will have an impact on any patient/client coming for walk-in services (such as lab and X-ray), some scheduled appointments, and more urgent needs.

These circumstances are due to a number of factors, including staffing challenges, increasing demand for services and sustained trending of higher than normal hospital occupancy.

  • Health human resource constraints are being experienced locally and nationally particularly in within nursing and sub-specialized fields such as imaging, lab, medical rehabilitation and others.
  • Yukon’s population is growing and its needs are evolving.

The hospital continues to take steps to maintain immediate support for acute, admitted patients and emergency cases, while also continuing to address some less urgent needs over a longer period of time. We acknowledge that this does not meet our expectations or those in our communities.
 

Hospital Occupancy / Inpatient Beds Available

Please note: If you require urgent or acute care at any time, regardless of hospital capacity, you should seek care at your nearest hospital. The critically ill or injured will always receive care and will always receive priority attention. 

This table is accurate as of the morning Friday, May 17, 2024.  Inpatient bed availability can change at any time. 

  • Green - Standard working capacity and space available.
  • Yellow – An acute increase in demand for acute care services, space limited in some service areas.
  • Orange – A larger increase in demand for acute care services, space limited in some service areas.
  • Red – An unusually high demand for acute care services and space extremely limited/hospital full

 

What can you expect?

  • It may take longer to get a scheduled appointment for - CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammography, physiotherapy or occupational therapy.
  • If you come to hospital on a walk-in basis for X-ray or bloodwork/lab test, you should expect and plan for a longer wait to have the procedure completed.
  • If you come to the emergency department, you can expect it to be busier than normal and you may experience longer wait times, as a result.
  • If you need to be admitted to hospital, you may spend longer in the emergency department or be temporarily moved to another area of the hospital in order to be cared for safely.


What can you do?

  • Follow any pre-appointment preparation and arrive at the specified time.
  • Give yourself extra time to find parking, locate the right area, and register for your service/appointment.
  • If you are unable to make a scheduled appointment, please call the hospital (with as much notice as possible), so you can be rescheduled. This allows your original appointment time to reassigned to someone else who is waiting.
  • If you are coming for a walk-in bloodwork/lab test, you can expect mornings through the week, and especially, Mondays to be busier. If you do not have to fast, as part of your preparation, consider a time later in the day, or on a Friday, when it’s typically less busy.
  • If your condition changes, notify your health provider.
  • You may consider other options (if available) for prescription refills or non-emergency needs. Health advice is available by dialing 811.
  • In an emergency, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.
  • Understand that the challenges our hospitals face are being experienced nation-wide. Our dedicated team contributes in many different ways to making your experience a positive one and our human resource challenges are being experienced in many areas.
  • These circumstances are not within the control of the support staff and direct care providers such as physicians, nurses, lab and imaging techs and others. Our team is working hard to deliver quality and safety care – and this challenging situation is not where any of us want to be. Please be kind to your health care provider.   
     

What are we doing?

  • Our teams are doing everything they can to maintain services to the extent that they can within a number of limitations, so acute/urgent services are available when needed.
  • Continuing to focus on short- and long-term recruitment and retention strategies. From establishing competitive compensation and other incentives and utilizing temporary staff to establishing mentorships and creating pathways to employment in hospital, we are working on a number of fronts and part of national conversations about health HR strategies.
  • Working with our health system partners to ensure Yukoners have access to right care in the right place at the right time.
  • Upgrading imaging technology. A planned slowdown was set to begin mid-May for less urgent CT scans, as we reduce the number of scheduled appointments over several weeks. During this time, the hospital will replace/upgrade its CT scanner and maintain capacity to respond to emergency/urgent cases.

 

Mask Use

Wearing a medical mask is optional (unless directed by your health provider) in all Yukon hospital facilities. We ask that all patients and visitors clean their hands (with hand sanitizer) and follow all Infection Prevention and Control guidance and recommendations.

 

Visitor Limitations

Some rooms or spaces have posted occupancy limits and some visitor limitations are still in effect. Ask your health provider about any restrictions in place and follow any direction they provide.

Visitors are permitted between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm.


Please check this website daily for updates on our services.

  • Masking is no longer mandatory but they will remain readily available. Please feel free to continue to wear a mask if you prefer.
  • Perform hand hygiene when you enter and leave and several times in between. 
  • If you are being cared for in isolation, stay in your hospital room. This is for your safety and the safety of others as well.
  • Employees and physicians in direct contact with patients may wear additional PPE based on clinical risk assessments.