Emergency Department


If you are in need of serious medical attention, please CALL 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department. Emergency care is available at all three of our hospitals 24/7


1 Princess Anne Dr,
Georgetown, ON
L7G 2B8
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Milton District

725 Bronte St. S,
Milton, ON
L9T 9K1
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Oakville Trafalgar
Memorial Hospital

3001 Hospital Gate,
Oakville, ON
L6M 0L8
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Disclaimer: The posted wait times are estimates for information only, are not guaranteed, and can change significantly and immediately. Patients will be seen based on their medical condition and the severity of their situation. Halton Healthcare disclaims all liability for the use of this information and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.

Halton Healthcare’s emergency department (ED) estimated wait times are updated for each hospital every 15 minutes and represent the approximate time most patients will wait from the time they are triaged until they see a medical care provider.

The estimated wait time does not predict the entire length of a stay. That will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition, the care required and any tests that may be needed.

Patients in the ED are seen on a priority-basis, not on a first-come, first-served basis. This helps the sickest patients get the care they need first, whether they arrive on their own or via ambulance, even though they may arrive after other patients.

If your condition changes and you begin to feel worse while you are waiting in the emergency department, please notify the triage nurse or a medical care provider immediately.

Patients who choose to leave the hospital before being assessed by a medical care provider do so at their own risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do wait times mean?

Wait times are an estimate of the time in hours and minutes from the time someone is triaged until seen by a medical care provider (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner). The estimated time is based on the maximum time nine out of 10 patients will wait to be assessed. The estimated wait time does not predict the entire length of stay. That will depend on the care required, such as diagnostic imaging, testing, etc.

The estimated wait times are not a guarantee of how long someone will wait.

How often are wait times updated?

Estimated wait times are refreshed every 15 minutes to provide as timely and accurate information as possible

Why are wait times always changing?

Demand for services can change very quickly depending on the number of patients arriving, how sick they are and the medical attention they require. Incidents such as a serious accident or patients arriving with life-threatening injuries or illnesses can unexpectedly impact wait times.

How will I be assessed for my turn to be seen?

The Emergency Department does not work on a first-come, first-served system. It's important to know that critical patients will be seen first, whether they arrive on their own or via an ambulance.

How long will I wait?

The Emergency Department cares for people with a wide range of injuries and concerns. Patients are treated as quickly as possible; however, wait times may be affected by other patients experiencing more severe conditions and the time it takes for diagnostics and laboratory results.

Patients are assessed and prioritized using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS), based on the patient’s complaint and the signs and symptoms they may be exhibiting. For example, a patient experiencing chest pain will likely be seen by a medical care provider before someone with a fracture or abdominal pain.

How can I share feedback about my care?

If you would like to provide feedback, or request information in another language, please contact our Patient Relations team by phone at 905-338-4138 or by email to patientrelations@haltonhealthcare.com.

Your Healthcare Options

Our hospital is always here to provide emergency medical care. However, you may be able to use another healthcare option to get the care you need quicker if your condition is not urgent. These alternate healthcare options may include:

  • Calling your family doctor or talking to your pharmacist
  • Visiting an urgent care centre or walk-in clinic
  • Calling Health 811 for access to a Healthcare Professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

When to come to the Emergency Department

When to visit an Urgent Care Centre or Walk-in Clinic

What to bring with you:

  • All prescription and non-prescription medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and natural health products. (A printable and fillable Medication List is available)
  • Your Ontario health card
  • Any private health insurance cards
  • Medical insurance information if you live outside Ontario
  • Up-to-date health information, including any allergies or health records
  • Supplies and activities for children if you are coming with a baby or child

When you arrive:

Please be aware you may need to wait once you are in the Emergency Department. Our staff will evaluate your condition and prioritize your medical needs. Patients are seen on a priority basis, not a first-come first-served basis. This ensures the sickest patients get the care they need first, even though they may arrive at the Emergency Department after other patients.

Patients are assessed and prioritized using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS), based on the patient’s complaint and the symptoms they may be exhibiting. For example, a patient experiencing chest pain will likely be seen by a physician before someone with a fracture or abdominal pain.

What to Expect in The Emergency Department

Emergency Department Steps of Care

There are several steps of care in the Emergency Department:

  1. Triage: Where your health issue is assessed by a triage nurse.
  2. Registration: Where we collect your health history, contact information and consent for treatment.
  3. Diagnosis: Where an emergency care trained doctor or nurse practitioner will consult with you about your health issue.
    1. During this time, they may order tests such as blood tests, x-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests to determine what treatment is needed. The results could be available within one to two hours, while you are in the Emergency Department. However, some test results may require a longer wait.
    2. Your doctor or nurse practitioner may also want to consult with other members of the health care team such as lab assistants, respiratory therapists or specialists to help confirm a diagnosis.
    3. The staff will do their best to make sure you are comfortable and informed about what tests are being completed and how long they may take.
  4. Treatment: Where your doctor or nurse practitioner will start your course of treatment, recommend next steps and write any prescriptions.
  5. Discharge or admission to the hospital: Based on your treatment plan, your doctor or nurse practitioner will admit you to an inpatient unit or send you home with written instructions to continue treatment.

While You Are Waiting

  • If your condition changes and you begin to feel worse, tell the triage nurse at once. Do not leave without telling the triage nurse. It is important that your illness or condition be assessed before you leave.
  • Do not eat or drink anything until you ask the triage nurse. Some tests cannot be done if you have eaten.
  • Since it may take some time for you to be treated, you are advised to leave small children at home in someone else’s care.
  • While in the Emergency Department, please refrain from using camera, video or audio recording devices to respect patient, staff and visitor privacy.

If You Are Admitted

It is possible that you may have to stay in the Emergency Department for observation for a short time or be admitted to one of our inpatient units. Once the decision to admit has been made you will wait in our Emergency Department until an appropriate bed is available for your hospital stay. Your care will continue in the Emergency Department until your bed is ready.

Possible Fees

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers most essential health care services provided to Ontario residents with valid OHIP cards. Canadian residents with health cards from other Canadian provinces are also covered. If you are insured in another province, we will process an inter-provincial claim on your behalf.

Some health insurance plans will cover what OHIP does not. Read your insurance plan carefully to make sure you understand your coverage before you come to the hospital as we are not able to verify your private insurance coverage. Additional fees are charged for items such as:

  • Semi-private or private inpatient room
  • Ambulance
  • Medical devices (including crutches and splints)

Non-residents of Canada as well as Canadian residents without a provincial health card will be billed for all services and items received, typically through two bills – one from the hospital and one from the physician who provided care.

Questions? Please contact our Finance department at accountsreceivable@haltonhealthcare.com or call 905-338-4640.

Before You Leave

If you are thinking about leaving before you are discharged by the doctor, please first speak with the nurse. Make sure you understand any follow up instructions that may be important for you to know.

Going Home

Patients are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation when they are discharged from the hospital, which can be at any time. Please see Patient Transportation in the Related Downloads section of this page.

If you are feeling overwhelmed

If you need help or would like to talk to someone, mental health support is available from the following organizations:
COAST: Crisis Outreach and Support Team
For Halton Region residents 16 years of age and older experiencing a mental health crisis.
Crisis Line: 1-877-825-9011
ROCK: Reach Out Centre for Kids
Assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families.
Mobile Crisis Line: 905-878-9785
SAVIS: Sexual Assault & Violence
Intervention Service
Support for survivors of violence.
Crisis/Support Line: 905-875-1555
Distress Centre Halton
To better cope with crisis, loneliness and stress.
Oakville: 905-849-4541
North Halton: 905-877-1211
Burlington: 905-681-1488