Virtual Emergency Department Visits

The UHN Emergency Departments are now offering virtual visits.

What is a virtual visit?

During a virtual visit, you do not come to the hospital to meet in person. Instead, you speak with your care team using a regular phone, smartphone, tablet or computer.

Who can have a virtual visit in the Emergency Department?

To book a virtual visit in the Emergency Department, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have an urgent medical condition that is not life-threatening

If you have a family doctor or primary care provider, we recommend speaking with them first. If you are not able to access your Primary Care Provider OR you do not have a provider, Emergency Department Virtual Visits may be right for you.

Examples of symptoms and conditions that are urgent but not life-threatening:

  • Bites & Stings
  • Body Aches
  • Rashes
  • Skin Infection
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sinus Infection
  • Fever
  • Frostbite/cold injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nail Infection
  • Painless red eye
  • Eyelid redness or bump
  • Nausea
  • Scabies
  • Lice
  • Sprains and Minor Injuries

You can also check the Ontario COVID-19 screening site, if you think you need a COVID test. Please note, the TWH COVID Assessment Centre is separate from the Emergency Department.

Virtual Visit Hours

From January 24 to 28, 2022, our hours are:

Monday – Friday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

 Book your Emergency Department virtual visit
(Appointments open 2 hours before the first appointment for the same day)

Please be aware that UHN's Virtual Emergency Department hours change on a weekly basis.

If no appointments are available at UHN you can visit to see if appointments are available at our partner organizations.

How do I book a virtual visit?

You must make an appointment to have a virtual visit in the Emergency Department. Appointment spots open 2 hours before the first appointment for the same day. Spots are booked on a first-come first-served basis.

We respond to submitted forms 2 hours before the first appointment until the last appointment of the day. If you submit a form during these hours, you can expect to wait an average of 1 hour before hearing back, via email. Outside of these times, we will not respond to request forms.

Our Emergency Departments at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals are still open for in-person visits if that option is right for you. If there are no available appointments for today, please visit UHN or another local Emergency Department in person or book a virtual visit at another Emergency Department.

You can also book a Emergency Department virtual visit by phone. Please call 416 357 2984 and we will complete the registration for you. You will be able to continue with your virtual appointment by phone, if you prefer, or if you don't have access to the internet or video.

What do I need for my virtual visit?

  • Your Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) card
  • A quiet, secure space to engage in a virtual visit
  • Computer, smartphone or tablet with video and microphone capabilities
  • Internet access
  • Email (to access the Virtual Visit appointment link and reminders)

What will happen after my virtual visit to the Emergency Department?

After your virtual appointment, the health care team will advise you on what to do next. Your next steps could include:

  • An appointment with a specialist doctor or clinic
  • Following up with your primary care provider, if you have one
  • Visiting your nearest Emergency Department in-person
  • Nothing further, if your need can be addressed through the virtual visit

If you are in severe distress or experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

If your symptoms worsen while you are waiting for a virtual appointment, visit your nearest Emergency Department in person, or call 911 for assistance.

Virtual Visits are not meant to address chest pain, breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, stroke, in labour or ruptured membranes, neck stiffness/altered consciousness, inability to walk, or new neurological symptoms. If you have these symptoms, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

We do not provide prescriptions or renewals for opioids, benzodiazepine, methadone, suboxone, cannabis or stimulants. Please see your regular prescriber.

For UHN Clinicians

We are now offering UHN Clinicians the option to call our Virtual Triage Nurse Practitioner (NP) directly at 647 309 0042 for a clinical consultation with either the NP or the on-call ED Physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the privacy and security risks with ED Virtual Visits?
Electronic communication, including virtual visits and email, may have some risk. Third parties may take over electronic communication and introduce malware, phishing scams, or other unauthorized access.

UHN is not responsible for the security of patients' internet service providers, email domains, personal devices or personal computers.

We suggest that you use your personal email when communicating about your health and not a work email address, as your employer may have the right to inspect your work email.

Use a secure internet connection. Do not use a public internet connection such as at the airport internet café, public library or other open area. Other people may be able to use the link to listen in on your appointment without you knowing.

For more information on how to protect yourself against security risks associated with electronic communication, read this article on Don't let a phishing attack reel you in.

Can I record my ED Virtual Visit?
You will not be able to record your virtual appointment using Microsoft Teams. If you would like to record your appointment using another device, talk to the doctor to get their permission.

How do I cancel a scheduled ED Virtual Visit?
Please email to cancel if you no longer need your confirmed Emergency Department Virtual Visit. 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.

Can I book a virtual ED appointment if I don't speak English?
Yes, interpretation services are available. If you prefer to speak to the care provider in a language other than English we can provide you with an interpreter free of charge. Please call 416 357 2984 and let the booking agent know that you require an interpreter for your appointment.

What do I do if there are no appointments available?
There are a limited number of ED virtual 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 go to your nearest Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre.