Vancouver Island’s leading health authority wants people to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency room during the holidays.

Island Health’s Dr. Christine Hall says they are trying to avoid really long ER waits.

Hall says people should find out where there are walk-in clinics or pharmacies in their area.

She says a HealthLink BC nurse is available 24 hours a day to chat by calling 811 if somebody is not sure if they have to go to the hospital or not.