Minor Medical Emergency? Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic to the rescue

Seeta Ramdas

Less than thirty minutes! That’s how long it took for 11-year-old Billy Charamis to be seen by a nurse and a doctor, undergo a test for strep throat, receive a diagnosis, and get a prescription at the new Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic. It’s a fair bit faster than the last time the young man had a bout of strep; he and his parents spent over eight hours in the emergency room of a local hospital before being seen.

“I did not relish the idea of watching my son suffer through another episode of strep throat nor did I want to spend a third of my day in a hospital emergency room,” says George Charamis, Billy’s dad. “With two other children to care for, I appreciated being seen and treated quickly and efficiently, without an appointment, and on a weekend to boot. It is a relief to know these types of clinics are now available for any member of my family whenever we need urgent medical care.”

Open 365 days a year, this is one of over 20 walk-in clinics or Clinique Réseau set up in Montreal to provide the community with easier access to family physicians and shorter waiting times for walk-in service. The newest Clinique Réseau is located in the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex at 2111 Northcliffe Avenue in Montreal, a short walk from the Vendôme metro station. It is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the goals of the Clinique Réseau network is to help ease overcrowding in the emergency rooms of larger hospitals, and reserve hospital ERs for their principal mission: to treat people with life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

“The Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic is part of a network of clinics providing comprehensive medical expertise and access to essential diagnostic services such as blood tests, radiology and ultra-sound for children and adults,” says Dr. Mark Roper, Director of Primary Care of the McGill University Health Centre’s Department of Family Medicine, and the doctor in charge of the Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic.

The clinic sees between 70 and 80 patients per day, so patients are urged to call ahead at 514-481-4343 to find out what the average waiting time will be.

A list of all Clinique Réseau locations in the Montreal Area is available at www.santemontreal.qc.ca