Get ready for the season with holiday healthcare checklist in Brampton

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Published December 18, 2023 at 9:54 am

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown rolls up his sleeve for COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

From shopping and decorations to cooking big meals there can be much to prepare for around the holidays in Brampton, but what about when it comes to healthcare?

The William Osler Health System wants Brampton residents to have a safe and healthy holiday season with its Holiday Checklist to make sure you’re ready in case of an emergency and that you know where to go for care as the seasonal uptick in respiratory illnesses like influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is already being felt across Ontario’s healthcare system.

“However you choose to celebrate the holidays, we hope they are filled with good health, love, and warmth, and that you find time to connect with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours – to share traditions passed along through generations and to create new memories,” Osler said in a holiday message to the community.

Know your doctor’s and your local walk‑in clinic’s holiday hours

The holidays are a busy time, so make sure you are up to speed on when your family doctor is available, and when your local walk-in clinic will be open.

Primary care physicians and family doctors are a good resource for dealing with illnesses like the cold or flu, as well as other non-emergency cases like skin conditions or long-term conditions like diabetes and blood pressure.

Schedule any needed medical appointments

Make sure to have any appointments scheduled or re-scheduled if you know you’ll be out of town or that your doctor will be away.

Discuss your care plan with your care team ahead of the holidays and be sure you know how to reach them if you need to.

Get your flu shot and your COVID-19 vaccine or booster

COVID-19 and influenza vaccines are available to anyone 6 months or older in Ontario for free, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and you do not need an Ontario health card to get the vaccine.

You can book an appointment through Ontario’s vaccine booking website or by calling Ontario’s vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

Refill your medications and medical supplies

The holidays tend to be a busy time with social engagements and events but don’t forget to stock up on medications or medical supplies if you’re running low.

Know where to go for care in the community if your care needs are urgent

For urgent issues like broken bones, burns and chest pains, Osler recommends a visit to the emergency departments at either Brampton Civic Hospital or Etobicoke General Hospital.

Osler is also recommending residents wash their hands regularly, practice social distancing, and to wear a mask and get vaccinated for influenza and COID-19 to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

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