Peterborough Regional Health Centre seeing higher-than-usual patient volumes in pediatric clinic

Peterborough Regional Health Centre reports a new COVID-19 outbreak on the A5 inpatient unit. Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is experiencing a surge in patients using its pediatric outpatient (POP) urgent care clinic.

In a series of tweets released by the hospital Sunday, it stated appointments are filling up “very quickly” for the POP clinic and asked anyone with a family doctor or provider to book an appointment with them or to contact the extended hours service with the Peterborough Family Health Team (FHT).

“If you do not have a family doctor and you want to book with the POP clinic, we encourage you to call 705-740-8055 as early in the day as possible to request a same-day appointment,” the hospital stated.

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“If you leave a message, someone will call you back only if an appointment time is available.”

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“Normally, we open our phone lines and a few hours later we get calls and we fill the clinic,” Dr. Lynn Mikula, hospital executive vice-president, chief of staff and chief medical executive tells Global News.

“What we’re finding now is the clinic fills up quickly.

“The kids we’re seeing are very sick.  They need to be seen. There’s a great deal of viral illness and respiratory illness amongst children right now.”

The POP clinic is open Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., but the phone line to book same-day appointments opens at 8 a.m.

Advance bookings for later dates aren’t accepted.

“As PRHC continues to see very high volumes of adult and pediatric patients in the Emergency Department and admitted to the hospital, you may want to consider one of these alternative options if your situation is not an emergency,” the hospital tweeted.

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The hospital has reported higher-than-normal volumes in the emergency department for months, including patients with COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), leading to higher-than-normal wait times.

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Unattached patients, which are residents without a family doctor, can also visit the Nurse Practitioner Health Clinic in Lakefield or Peterborough Virtual Care Clinic.

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