Information about Emergency Departments

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The Emergency Department is at the hospital and is where you go for help with life-threatening issues.  This service is ALWAYS open, all day and all night!  

Basic information about the Royal Inland Hospital:

  • Phone: 250-374-5111
  • Address: 311 Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 2T1
  • Visiting Hours: 3:00pm-8:00pm daily
  • Parkade: $1.50/hr; $6.00 to pay for the whole day
  • Emergency parking: $1.50/hr; 3 hr maximum

Visit the hospitals website:

Reasons to seek help at the Emergency Department:

  • Life and death situations – when you fear that someone may die!
  • Loss of consciousness (fainting)
  • Large cuts and/or injuries with a lot of bleeding
  • Confusion and/or a change in behaviour
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • If you cannot make an appointment with your family doctor or  are unable to get into a walk-in clinic, you can go the emergency department for minor health issues, but you can expect a longer wait time.

If you are unsure whether you should go to the Emergency, call 8-1-1 or visit HealthLinks BC at This service offers many different tools and advice on managing your health.When in doubt seek help!

8-1-1 is a free phone service offered in over 130 languages!  If you need assistance this is a great place to start!  

In serious, life-threatening situations you can call 9-1-1 for help.  By using this number you can get help fast!  An ambulance is one of the many services you can get by dialing this emergency number.  For more information about 9-1-1 please watch the following video:


What to expect at the Emergency Department:


Emergency Departments use a “triage system”.  A nurse  will ask you questions about your health concerns and determine the level of help you need.


The level you are given will determine how quickly you will be seen by a doctor.  Someone may come in after you and be seen first if they have been given a higher priority level. This system is used so that the people who need the most help are seen first.


clocks.pngWaiting at the hospital is normal in the Canadian healthcare system. There will be more than one waiting room during your visit at the emergency department. A nurse will tell you where you need to go at each step in this process.  It is advised that you do NOT eat or drink before seeing the doctor.

(this is one reason why it is best to visit a Walk-In Clinic for less serious health issues)

For more information specific to Royal Inland Hospital, please refer to the “Tour of Royal Inland Hospital Emergency Room” page.

Seeing the doctor:

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Your time spent with the doctor may be shorter than you expect, especially after having to wait for so long.  However, the doctor will spend the amount of time that is needed to treat you properly.  Do not be afraid to ask questions!

Healthcare may also seem like an invasion of privacy. The staff need to ask questions about your problems and how long you have had your symptoms.  These questions may be personal or embarrassing but help to get a good understanding about what to do next.  Answer these questions honestly; they will allow the healthcare team to help you better!

Everything you and the healthcare team speak  about will be kept confidential!

You can choose to bring a friend or family member for support, even your children.  At Royal Inland Hospital, only 1-2 adults can go with you inside the emergency department. Other friends or relatives can wait for you in the waiting areas, the cafe, or the cafeteria.

After seeing the doctor:

The length of time you spend at Emergency, either going to another hospital ward or being discharged, depends on the situation.  You and your family will be involved in making decisions about your care at every step.

When you are discharged from the hospital you may by sent home with prescriptions to pick up or specific instructions for how to look after yourself.  If you do require medications at home the hospital does not supply you with these.  You will be asked for a pharmacy where you want to pick up your medications and will be given a prescription to take to that pharmacy.

MSP does not cover costs of medications and if you do not have private insurance you will need to pay for these.  Please see the Overview of Healthcare in BC page for more on this topic.

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