The Virtual Emergency Department (ED) provides safe, quality urgent care to patients from the comfort of their home. The program offers same-day virtual assessments with emergency department physicians to patients who:

  • live in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area;
  • are older than 17 years of age;
  • have non-life-threatening medical issues;
  • don’t have a primary care provider or are unable to obtain timely access to them.

Same-day appointments will be made on a first come first served basis to those who meet the above criteria. Appointments are available Monday – Friday between 12:00 pm – 5:45 pm and take place through secure video chat.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency or a mental health crisis, please call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department in person.

What you need to make your appointment:

  • A valid Ontario Health Card;
  • A computer or smartphone with video;
  • E-mail (to access the appointment link);
  • A quiet space and internet access;

Each virtual appointment will be booked for 15 minutes, allowing time to establish a connection with the patient’s device, review patient details, perform the assessment and determine next steps.

Referrals to community programs, specialists, diagnostic imaging procedures, lab work or prescriptions may be provided upon discharge.

If you have a primary health care provider (i.e. family physician or nurse practitioner), please attempt to book an appointment with them prior to booking an appointment with the Virtual Emergency Department.

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Patients experiencing any of the following symptoms should call 911 or visit the Emergency Department in person:

  • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • Severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are
  • Losing consciousness
  • Signs of stroke:
    • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Severe headache
  • Eye injury

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are some examples of symptoms and conditions that are urgent but not life-threatening?

  • Body Aches
  • Rashes
  • Skin Infection
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sinus Infection
  • Fever
  • Frostbite/cold injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Eyelid redness or bump
  • Nausea
  • Sprains and Minor Injuries


How do I cancel a scheduled Virtual ED appointment?

Once you are emailed the appointment link, there will be an option to cancel. Alternatively patients can cancel their appointment by calling (807) 684-7891. This will help our Emergency Departments and our community by opening up your appointment to another person who may need to speak with a doctor.

Can I book an appointment for a family member?

Yes, you can book an appointment for a family member. When you are filling out the booking form, you can provide your own name as the contact, and your family member’s name and information as the patient. The appointment link will be sent to the email address provided in the intake form.

What do I do if there are no appointments available?

There are a limited number of Virtual ED appointments each day. If you need medical help today, contact your primary care provider, if you have one. If you are unable to book a virtual appointment and you need urgent care, please attend your nearest Emergency Department in person.

Can I get a refill of my medication?

The doctor can prescribe new medications during the visit if required, but cannot provide a regular refill of a medication you have already been prescribed. No narcotics will be prescribed.

What do I do if I feel worse while I’m waiting?

If your symptoms worsen, call 911 or visit the Emergency Department in person.

For more information, please call 807-684-7891