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Canada  

Montreal Children's Hospital says it's overcrowded, urges to avoid emergency room

Urged to avoid the E.R.

Montreal Children's Hospital says a surge in patients is putting strain on its emergency services, forcing families to be redirected elsewhere.

The hospital sent a release earlier today, asking young patients with non-urgent conditions to consult their doctor or a rapid access clinic instead of coming to the emergency room.

The release says the hospital is left unable to see all patients amid an increase in children seeking treatment.

Montreal Public Health says the Children's Hospital ER occupancy rate is 192 per cent today, the second highest rate among all hospitals in the city.

Dr. Robert Barnes, the hospital's associate director of professional services, says ER wait times are currently up to 18 hours and doesn't know when the wait is expected to lower.

He says the hospital is not seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, but rather infections of all kinds.



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