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Holiday hours & healthy living tips


In a medical emergency

If you or a loved one has symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, loss of consciousness, heavy bleeding, breathing difficulties, severe abdominal or chest pain, or a major accident, call 9-1-1 or go immediately to your nearest hospital emergency department. Emergency departments are open throughout the holidays for people who require urgent and emergency health care.

If it’s not an emergency

If you have a health concern that is not an emergency and your doctor is unavailable, you can go to a walk-in clinic or go to your nearest Community Health Centre.

Holiday hours for Community Health Centres

Call 8-1-1

Call 8-1-1 or visit the HealthLink BC website for assistance finding a clinic near you or for health care advice from a nurse, pharmacist or dietician.

UBC Urgent Care Centre

If you live in Vancouver, the Urgent Care Centre at UBC Hospital is open throughout the holidays. The centre is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and is staffed with emergency-trained doctors and nurses to handle minor medical emergencies that don’t require admission to hospital, such as broken bones, fevers, minor burns and eye problems.

Staying healthy this holiday season

Food safety tips

Tips to prevent sickness

  • Wash your hands to avoid picking up colds, stomach viruses and other infections.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Keep your prescription medication filled.
  • Speak to a pharmacist or health care provider before taking over the counter cold medications.

Tips to avoid accidents

  • Have the right gear for your winter activity. Wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding, wear the right shoes or boots for walking in snow or ice
  • Shovel snow wisely: dress warmly, take breaks and don’t overdo it. Be honest about how much you can do yourself and ask for help for the rest.
  • Mind slippery sections and black ice when walking.
  • Make sure your fire detectors and carbon monoxide monitors work, especially with all the extra lights, Christmas trees and candles at this time of year.
  • Put snow tires on your car.
  • Drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.

Your mental health matters

The holidays can be a trying time of year, socially and emotionally. If you are feeling blue or overly stressed, be sure to speak with someone. Our emergency contacts page lists distress, suicide, addiction and poison control phone numbers. 
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