INDEPENDENT NEWS

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department Under Significant Pressure

Published: Wed 6 Mar 2024 10:16 AM
Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is currently experiencing high demand and is extremely busy. There is no single reason for high numbers of patients attending at present, but we are currently seeing patients with a range of complex conditions.
There are more than 100 people being cared for in ED at 9.15pm Tuesday. Christchurch Hospital ED is one of the busiest emergency departments in the country and at its peak has seen up to 430 people in a 24-hour period. The usual number of attendances is between 330 and 370 people every day. To have more than 100 people being looked after at this time is a large number of unwell people to assess and care for. We expect the high rates of occupancy and presentations will continue through until tomorrow morning (Wednesday).
As always, patients are prioritised soon after arrival and seen in order of urgency.
If it’s not an emergency we encourage you to seek alternative health advice, however if you choose to wait, please be aware that you might be in for a long wait if it’s not an emergency.
Free health advice is available from a range of providers, including free health advice over the phone by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116 – they are available 24/7 or consider a virtual telehealth consultation with a registered New Zealand health practitioner for non-urgent health issues https://healthify.nz/apps/v/virtual-consult-apps/
https://info.health.nz/ is a trusted source of easy to use health information.
If you live in, or are visiting a rural area, you can try Ka Ora, a new telehealth service for those in rural area - including Ashburton. Call Ka Ora on 0800 252 672 - you can have a virtual appointment with a clinician the same day. Fees may apply.Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should still call 111 immediately.
Thank you for keeping the Emergency Department free for those who have no alternative and need life-saving emergency care. And thank you for your patience if you do have an extended wait, we know if can be stressful and frustrating if you’re not feeling well.
More options for people with non-urgent health problems are listed below:Minor injuries and illnesses like colds, coughs, fevers and mild COVID-19 can be treated safely at home. Check out the free advice available on Healthify in the Health A to Z https://healthify.nz/health-a-z/You can visit https://yourbestcare.co.nz/ to learn more about the healthcare choices availableConsider a virtual appointment with a NZ-registered Doctor who can give advice and prescriptions etc online via phone, laptop or other device, from the comfort of your own home (https://healthify.nz/apps/v/virtual-consult-apps/)Your local pharmacy can advise on over-the-counter medications and treatments including pain management.Many GPs can issue repeat prescriptions over the phone or onlineIf you have a sprain or injury, you can go straight to a physio without a referral – they can register an ACC claim, and organise X-rays and specialist referrals.

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