Emergency Care

Emergency Care

Full-service Emergency Departments (ED) at all three SHN hospitals

Our SHN emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have specially-trained ED teams of emergency care doctors, nurses, consultants, attendants, technicians, crisis/social workers, clerical/support staff and volunteers.

What we do

  • Assessment and treatment
  • Stabilization and transfer to an appropriate area of care
  • Admittance or discharge with community follow up
  • A rapid assessment zone to expedite care for patients who are comfortable walking on their own who have a health issue that does not put them at imminent risk

How to Access Care

Contact Us
Birchmount hospital
416-438-2911 ext. 2550


Centenary hospital


General hospital
416-438-2911 ext. 6300

Getting Emergency Care

When to go to the Emergency department


Adults should go to the ED if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Sudden onset of weakness or dizziness, or loss of consciousness
  • Sudden changes in speech or vision
  • Head injury
  • Broken bones
  • Major sprains
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Large cuts or wounds
  • Unexpected heavy bleeding of any sort
  • Breathing difficulties


Children should be brought to the ED if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Head injury
  • Significant bone or soft tissue injuries
  • High, persistent fever (38.5°C or 100.4°F)
  • Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Significant lack of fluid intake (especially in a younger child)
  • Significant changes in activity level

These are not exhaustive lists. If you have any doubts about whether or not to visit the ED, it’s better to be safe and go ahead — especially for children.

Non-emergency alternatives

Sometimes you are not in a medical emergency. If you go to the ED, you will likely wait longer because your condition is not as severe as other patients who are there. In these cases, it may be better to access another health-care provider or service.

Family doctors’ offices

Do you have a General Practitioner (GP) or family doctor? If you need an annual check-up, or care for a minor cold or flu, sore throat, minor sprain or strain, stomach upset or minor muscle ache and pain, you should make an appointment to see your family doctor. A family doctor is the doctor who should be following your health on an ongoing basis.

There are a number of resources available to help in the search for a family doctor:

Walk-in clinics

These clinics, usually staffed by family doctors, are located in various retail malls and commercial settings, and are open during the daytime and after hours.

Centenary Family Physician Clinic

There is a walk-in clinic located in the main lobby area of our Centenary hospital, just inside the entrance to The Court. Here, a local family doctor can see you. No appointment is necessary. For information and hours, please call 416-281-8618.

Other community clinics

Here are some of the clinics in Scarborough. This list is not complete. Please consult your Yellow Pages directory, under the heading “Clinics,” for hours of operation and a location near you.

Walk-in Family Pratice Clinic
3585 Lawrence Avenue East
(416) 431-0736

Doctor’s Clinic
255 Morningside Avenue
(416) 287-3100

Malvern Medical Centre
1333 Neilson Road
(416) 291-7719

Milner Health Centre
857 Milner Avenue
(416) 287-3611

Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential telephone service you can call to get health advice or general health information from a registered nurse. These qualified health professionals can assess your symptoms and help you decide your best first step. They can help you decide whether to care for yourself, make an appointment with your doctor, go to a clinic, contact a community service or go to a hospital emergency room.

The Telehealth Ontario service is provided in English and French, with translation support for other languages and a direct TTY number for those with hearing and speech difficulties. Callers can also be connected to medication information and health information audio tapes.

Call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. Visit the Telehealth website to learn more about this service.

Specialized Emergency Services

Mental Health
Our ED have specialized spaces and trained crisis staff to provide emergency services to individuals with mental health and addiction concerns.
Learn more about Crisis Support
The Paedlink program helps to fast-track children and their families who come to the ED to a specialized paediatric clinic called Paedlink.
Learn more about Paediatric care
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre
The SA/DVCC helps those who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence. Support can be accessed through our EDs.
Learn more