Date: 19 December, 2012
Summer puts heat
on hospital occupancy
Waikato Hospital's occupancy is higher than 100 per cent and some planned surgeries have been cancelled to help the hospital cope.
People coming to the hospital's Emergency Department are causing the high acute demand.
Kevin Harris, assistant group manager of hospital operations, says the pressure on the hospital can be eased with some help from the public.
"Unless it is a real emergency, we ask that people check first with their GP or the Healthline (Healthline 0800 611 116) before coming to the Emergency Department at the hospital.
“They will give advice and assessment, and you avoid a long wait at the hospital while we deal with more urgent cases.
"Emergency Department is here for serious accidents or urgent medical attention, chest pain, babies with high temperatures and so on.
"If it is not urgent, we ask people to seek medical advice promptly, but by making a quick phone call to Healthline or their local doctor, or a visit to an after-hours medical centre."
He said the hospital tried hard not to cancel patients who had surgery planned, as it knows how disruptive that can be for people and their families, especially at this time of the year. However some cancellations were necessary.
Healthline is a free telephone health advice service.
Healthline’s registered nurses ask you questions about the symptoms, condition or illness you’re ringing about. From your answers, they’ll recommend the best thing to do.
They can also tell you where to find your nearest GP after-hours service, hospital emergency department, pharmacy, or out-of-hours dental surgery.
Healthline can also provide general health information on a wide range of topics.