The hospital admission process in Toronto is relatively straightforward. Below is some of the information you will need to make things easier.
Most hospitals in Toronto are equipped with emergency rooms and will provide emergency care. There are a few hospitals in Toronto that provide 24 hour emergency service, however. These hospitals are:
- Mount Sinai Hospital 600 University Avenue
- St. Michael’s Hospital 30 Bond Street
- Toronto Hospital General Division 200 Elizabeth Street
- Toronto Hospital Western Division 399 Bathurst Street
For a comprehensive list of emergency numbers to call in Toronto, click here.
Upon entering the emergency room, patients are required to check in at the first available admittance desk. They will be expected to provide identification and may be asked for their Ontario Health card, if they are permanent residents of the province of Ontario. They will then be admitted into the emergency area of the hospital, where they will be asked to wait for the first available health care professional.
If you do not have this information, and your situation is not urgent, you may be sent to retrieve it, or held in the emergency room until it can be found. If, however, you are in a situation that requires immediate attention you will be treated before the paperwork is processed. In really extreme situations, the Toronto Metro Police may be asked to locate this information, but if you have family or friends that can do the legwork, they may be required to do it instead.
It is important to remember that all Toronto emergency services operate on a triage, meaning that minor injuries take a much lower priority to more serious cases. Be be prepared to wait between 1 and 5 hours for treatment, depending on the severity of your injury and the amount of patients that need to be seen.
If you are a non-resident of Canada, it is important that you have your passport ready, along with proof of address (such as a utility bill or lease agreement), and the contact numbers of your next of kin, so that medical staff have someone to call if you are unable.
If you are uninsured, you will be billed for medical services after you have been released from treatment. An ambulance trip can cost as much as $250, with the general rate of uninsured emergency treatment sitting at around $500.
To generally admit yourself into a hospital, you will first need to communicate with your regular practicing doctor. If they advise entering a Toronto hospital for treatment or surgery, you will need to consult with either your doctor or any specialist they recommend to set up the logistics of your stay, such as which facility you will be entering into, the dates, and the length of your stay. Your practitioner will then communicate with the hospital to make the necessary arrangements, as well as provide all relevant medical history that exists in your medical file.
You are not required to pay for medical services in Canada. However, when entering the hospital, you will need to provide proof of identity with a government official ID, such as a passport, driver’s license, and/or health card. You will also be required to present your OHIP card, if you are a permanent resident of Toronto, or your health insurance policy number if you are using travel or other medical insurance. You must also provide the contact information of at least one friend or loved one that can be notified for updates on your condition, or in case of emergency.
Visiting hours in Toronto hospitals are generally from 10 AM to 6 PM, seven days per week. Visits are often restricted to 2 guests at a time, to reduce crowding.
It is important to remember that most Toronto hospitals will not discharge patients if there isn’t someone on hand to take them home. Make sure that you have someone there to either pick you up, or escort you home using a taxi service.