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Save the Emergency Department for emergencies

Wednesday, August 17, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: health, services, information, advice

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Cantebury media release: 16th August 2022

Large numbers of people presenting at Canterbury’s Urgent Care facilities and the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department means people with non-urgent conditions are having to wait.

Yesterday 366 people presented to Christchurch Hospital’s ED, and at 7pm there were 131 people being cared for in the department, with many more waiting for care. Thirty eight percent of people attending ED needed to be admitted for further treatment and care.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Richard Laing, asks that people save the Emergency Department for emergencies.

“If you’re not sure how urgent your condition is, call Healthline for free health advice any time of day or night by calling 0800 611 116. 

“Many colds and fevers are viral and can be treated at home. Our new Stay Well This Winter booklet is being delivered to all Canterbury households."

Download the new Stay Well This Winter booklet [PDF].

There’s also a wide range of information on self-care available:

“You can also see your local pharmacist for advice on medication and minor health concerns.

“Ongoing staff illness means that Moorhouse Medical will also have reduced hours for their Urgent Care facility again this week and will close this facility at 4pm during the week and 2pm at the weekend.

“If you require urgent care, please present to Canterbury's other Urgent Care facilities, Riccarton Clinic or the 24-Hour Surgery outside of these hours. If it’s an emergency, please call 111.

“Please remember if you are really unwell, we want to see you. I want to apologise to those who are having to wait. It’s not ideal, particularly for those who are unwell and are waiting to be moved through to a ward,” says Dr Richard Laing.

There is no single condition causing the issue, it is a range of winter illnesses affecting staff and the community.

“There are two really important things people in Canterbury can do to protect themselves and others: ensure all of their vaccinations are up to date including their second COVID-19 booster if eligible and mask up whenever they are away from home with other people, particularly in crowded indoor spaces,” says Dr Richard Laing.