​​In order to facilitate a safe transfer of patients to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and to ensure patients get the care they need with minimal delay, we request transferring facilities review the information & guidelines below.

Upon arrival, ambulance patients can go directly to their appointment or to the Ambulance Waiting Area (AWA) located on the main floor.

Ambulance Waiting Area Hours of Operation:

Effective September 4, 2016, the Ambulance Waiting Area will be opened: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Find out more about the Ambulance Waiting Area hours of operation »


Patient Status

All patients arriving by ambulance must be​ clinically stable:

  • Minimal risk that the medical condition will deteriorate during the transfer process
  • Vital signs (HR, BP, Temp, RR, Neuro signs) are within normal parameters

NOTE: Clinically unstable/acutely ill patients should not be transferred to Princess Margaret. Ambulatory clinics do not​ have the capacity to support unstable patients. If a patient requires acute care management, please contact the consulting Princess Margaret oncologist.


Patient Escort

All patients arriving by ambulance must be accompanied, see table below for details. Please ensure that you have arranged the appropriate escort for the transfer and the duration of the patient's visit. Referring facilities must arrange return transportation. Princess Margaret staff in the Ambulance Waiting Area will confirm pick-up time with the transportation service selected by your organization.

Patient Care Required​Type of Escort Required

​Oxygen Therapy:

  • Oxygen utilization greater than 49% and no threat to life or function
Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)

Tracheostomy suctioning/care:

  • Continuous IV infusion may be present (no high-risk drugs, e.g. insulin, vasopressors, heparin and high-dose electrolytes)
  • Patients who require medications (e.g. pain medication, antibiotics), the sending facility must provide the medication.
Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
​For all other patients​​Personal support worker (PSW)


Required information and supplies to accompany the patient

  • Patient Transfer Summary Form [PDF, opens in new window]
  • ​Ontario Health Insurance Card (OHIP)
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)/No cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation (No CPR) Documentation (if applicable)
  • Patients current chart and list of medications they are taking
  • Diagnostic imaging, CD of X-rays, MRI, CT, etc.
  • Bagged lunch or meal for the patient
  • Ministry of Transportation (MT) number

Up to two (2) family members/friends may accompany the patient to Princess Margaret. Please remind family members that if they have any of the following symptoms: diarrhea, fever and/or chills, new or worsening cough within the last 24 hours, they should refrain from coming to the hospital​​. 

NOTE: Princess Margaret is a scent free environment.

Contact the consulting physician’s office if you have any questions.


Wait Times

Type of AppointmentEstimated Time Required
​New patient consult 2 - 6 hours
Radiation planning and treatment 3 - 5 hours
​Radiation treatment only15 - 60 minutes
Radiation treatment and review45 - 12​0 minutes
Radiation planning only30 - 90 minutes
Systemic therapyUp to 8 hours
Procedure2 hours
Follow-up appointment 2 - 3 hours
Last reviewed: 5/22/2017
Last modified: 2/6/2018 10:16 AM