Avoid unnecessary trips to hospital this time of year

The hospital and clinics are busy so avoid having to go in the first place.

In anticipation of heavy volumes at area hospital emergency departments over the holidays, Interior Health is reminding the public to take a few simple steps to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.

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 of your local pharmacy or drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date and filled prior to the holidays.

Call HealthLink BC at 811 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 711.

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 feel that you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the emergency department or call emergency services at 911.

Other tips for staying safe and healthy:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub

• Get a flu shot

• Ensure your prescriptions are filled in advance, follow dosage directions and remember to keep your medications with you while traveling

• Get regular exercise and eat nutritious foods

• Everything in moderation, including alcohol

• Keep activities fun and safe

• Take care driving and avoid taking risks with the weather.

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