Holiday Season Health Care Options in North Simcoe Muskoka

December 16, 2019
- Regional health care providers are collaborating to help patients access appropriate care in the proper setting during the holiday season, reducing Emergency Department demands and hospital occupancy pressures.

Over the winter, and particularly during the holidays, there’s an increased demand for health care services, mostly due to influenza. The North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) works proactively with system partners throughout the year to put a strategy in place for the upcoming surge season.


Here are some ways to access health care resources in North Simcoe Muskoka:

  • In addition to more than 2,400 service profiles, also features a Non-Emergency Medical Services page that includes holiday hours and contact information for organizations including walk-in clinics, urgent care centres, pharmacies, and crisis intervention assistance. Please see these at: .
  • An infographic “When Should I Go to the ER” is attached to this release and also available on

Quick Facts:

  • People are encouraged to get a flu shot and to practice proper handwashing as a defence against influenza and to help ease surge volumes in the Emergency Department. Getting immunized annually is an important part of infection control as it protects not just you, but helps prevent the flu from being spread to family, friends, co-workers and patients.
  • Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health announced funding for additional surge beds to address capacity issues in hospital – including the equivalent of 84 beds across North Simcoe Muskoka.
  • The NSM LHIN is supporting the system to address surge and holiday pressures by coordinating the use of monitoring tools among partners. This includes using the following information to make informed decisions around capacity and flow:
  • Daily monitoring of a Regional Bed Capacity Report created by LHIN Home and Community Care.
  • Daily monitoring from November to April of “Acute Care Daily Internal Surge Status” by LHIN planning staff/Surge Lead
  • Daily monitoring of the provincial Emergency Management Communications Tool (EMCT) – a communications and coordination platform – for influenza reporting and coordinated emergency responses when surge levels become critical.
  • Compiling and circulating a Holiday Open/Closed contact list among health service providers within the NSM LHIN.
  • Review of the NSM Surge Snapshot document which organizations complete and submit to the LHIN weekly (or daily when required).
  • Moderating an NSM Snapshot Call between organizations, Home and Community Care and Public Health.
  • LHIN Home and Community Care reviewing all potential discharge options with patients and families, which includes the possibility of returning home with services.



For more information contact:

Kathleen Bain

Director of Communications

705-721-8010 ext. 3205