HHS’ Main Street clinic in Hamilton to close New Year’s Day

Hamilton Health Sciences says it's closing the Urgent Care Clinic on Main Street West at Macklin Jan. 1 due to ongoing staffing pressures. Global News

One of Hamilton’s major hospital networks will close a city clinic for the second time in little over a week New Year’s Day due to ongoing staffing shortages.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) says the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Main Street West and Macklin Street will shut down Jan. 1, 2023 to ensure emergency departments in the city’s hospitals can remain fully staffed.

“UCC staff will be reassigned to McMaster Children’s Hospital to help their colleagues respond to the challenge of the ongoing pediatric surge,” HHS’ Wendy Stewart told Global News in an e-mail on Dec. 22.

The UCC was also closed Christmas Day, which Stewart said was not unusual in recent years due to low patient volumes.

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HHS has been battling bed shortages across the city since the beginning of the fall with McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) enduring the most difficult conditions, reporting occupancy rates of 130 per cent in mid-November in inpatient pediatric units.

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The city’s two hospital networks, HHS and St. Joe’s, have reported capacity issues in recent months spurred on by a surge in viral illnesses such as COVID-19, RSV and the flu.

Executives with the MCH reported close to 200 kids were arriving in emergency per day in November, about 20 per cent higher than averages for October.

HHS is recommending reaching out to family doctors, Health Connect Ontario and St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre on King Street East as alternatives to the UCC on Jan. 1.

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