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Emergency Department

If you or someone in your care has an urgent medical condition or is experiencing a health crisis, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately.

Emergency Department (ED) physicians and staff are dedicated to providing exceptional emergency care for people with urgent medical conditions.

A triage system is in place in the Emergency Department, where the sickest and most vulnerable patients are cared for first.

Triage means "to sort." It is the way we decide which patients are treated first. A national triage scale with 5 levels (ranging from non-urgent to resuscitation) is used to rate patients' symptoms. 

Here are some examples of the types of symptoms that are treated, in order of urgency:

Levels 1-5

When to go to the Emergency Department

You should call 9-1-1 or seek emergency care when:

  •  experiencing discomfort or tightness in the chest;
  •  experiencing unusual shortness of breath;                               
  •  experiencing abdominal pain;
  • experiencing prolonged and persistent headache or dizziness;
  •  you have an injury that may require stitches or involve a broken bone;
  • you have a child with prolonged diarrhea or vomiting; or
  •  you have a baby under six months of age with a fever of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher

If you are experiencing mild or moderate Coronavirus (COVID-19)  symptoms, please do NOT visit an Emergency Department. Call Tele-Care 811.

Individuals should not come to the Emergency Department for a COVID-19 test or to obtain their results. COVID-19 Assessment Centres provide COVID-19 tests. 

Worst Comes First

People may arrive after you but be seen first because their health is at greater risk. The triage system allows us to treat all patients in a safe time frame for their conditions. 

Triage nursing staff receive specialized education to assess patients correctly and patients' charts are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure correct triage levels are being assigned.

We never know when there may be an emergency, such as an accident or life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, that may mean a longer wait for our non-urgent patients. 

Download this video here.

Estimated Emergency Department Wait Times

Estimated Emergency Department (ED) wait times are now playing on digital screens in ED waiting rooms at:

  • Horizon's The Moncton Hospital
  • Horizon's Saint John Regional Hospital
  • Horizon's Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital
  • Horizon's Miramichi Regional Hospital


Life-threatening Emergencies

For life-threatening emergencies please call 9-1-1 or go directly to your nearest emergency department.

Tele-Care 811

If you have health concerns or you're not sure where to go for help, speak to a nurse on this free, 24/7 telephone service. To contact Tele-Care, dial 8-1-1.

Know Your Options Before You Go

Emergency departments are for those who are seriously ill or injured, with potentially life-threatening conditions.

Did you know eVisitNB virtual care services are now available free of cost to all New Brunswickers ?

eVisitNB provides video, phone or messaging consultation with a primary care provider for common illnesses, injuries and mental health concerns.

Those with a non-urgent health care need are encouraged to use the free virtual care service instead of going to the Emergency Department.

For more information on the virtual care service, or to book an appointment, click here.

To learn about ALL your health care options for unexpected medical conditions, visit

Department of Emergency Medicine - Clinical Department Heads

Facilities and programs offering this service: