Winter and respiratory viruses go hand in hand in Quebec. When emergency rooms are overflowing and influenza gets involved, the situation can become critical, which is why we deploy the network of winter clinics.
Health Minister Christian Dubé appealed for help to Quebecers for the holiday season, asking them to avoid emergencies unless there is a serious situation.
For people suffering from severe symptoms linked to respiratory infections or who are concerned about complications, there is the network of winter clinics.
These clinics identified in several regions of Quebec have the mandate to welcome patients unwell by flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms.
First of all, we recommend self-care at home. In the case of a respiratory virus, the important thing is to rest and stay well hydrated while the body fights the infection.
However, if symptoms worsen to the point of making breathing difficult and leading to dehydration, it may be necessary to contact a healthcare professional.
However, this does not mean going to the emergency room. You can consult your pharmacist or family doctor or contact the 8-1-1 line.
It is also through Info-Santé that a nurse can offer appointments in the various winter clinics. These aim to relieve emergency congestion by offering an additional service during the winter period.
“These clinics are open at least two days a week and welcome people of all ages who have flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms,” it says on the website of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Around thirty winter clinics must eventually accommodate patients in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, in the Capitale-Nationale, in Estrie, in Montreal, in Outaouais, in Chaudière-Appalaches, in Laval, in Lanaudière, in the Laurentians and in Montérégie.