Waikato Hospital Emergency Department For Emergencies Only
High occupancy and a number of staff leave requests has prompted Waikato Hospital group manager Hayley McConnell to today remind people the hospital's emergency department should be for emergencies only.
The hospital is the major tertiary provider for the central North Island and has already had a busy week with motor vehicle accidents and other trauma cases from around the Midland region.
As at 2pm today there were already 40 people waiting to be seen in the hospital's emergency department.
Christmas Eve was also expected to be busy, she said. The hospital's projected occupancy for Christmas Day 8.30am is for 312 patients.
A number of GPs in the Waikato closed their practices last Friday (21 December) until January 7, 2008. Accident and urgent medicine medical clinics are covering for GPs during that period.
Waikato Hospital has an incident management team set up which will meet twice daily over the holiday period to monitor bed numbers and staffing to ensure safe and effective delivery of clinical care, said Ms McConnell.
Ensuring the emergency department was used for emergencies only was critical to that, she said.