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Canterbury Health System Update Four – August 17

Canterbury Health System Update Four – August 17


After three days of disruptions caused by the polar blast which hit the country this week, health services across Canterbury are expected to return to normal tomorrow.

All surgery and outpatient clinics at Canterbury District Health Board and private hospitals (Christchurch, Christchurch Women’s, Burwood, The Princess Margaret, Hillmorton and Ashburton, St Georges and Southern Cross) will resume as scheduled.

People who had their appointments cancelled this week because of the snowy conditions will be rebooked to the next available time.

If people have any questions they should contact the hospital number on their appointment card or letter.


While forecasts are for a gradual improvement in conditions, temperatures are expected to remain low for the rest of the week. There have been a number of electricity outages in some parts of the city and we are concerned about people who live alone, particularly older people who may be without power.

Please remember to check on elderly neighbours and family members. If you have lost electricity or your heating, make a plan to stay with friends or family who do have heating.

To help keep warm wear extra layers of warm clothing (such as wool or polypropylene) and eat warm food.

We are providing an increasing range of services in a person’s own home and are really keen to hear from people who can provide home care and support services.

We also want to hear from any former Ali’s Home Health Clients who haven’t been contacted by a new provider of their home support or home care – ph (03) 364 4134.

We would also like to remind any former Ali’s staff who are looking for work, that there are jobs available. They can also phone (03) 364 4134 for more information.


Delivery of Meals on Wheels will continue tomorrow with assistance from the four wheel drive club and other volunteers. Meals may be delivered later than usual as we continue to experience difficulties with the road situation.

Canterbury DHB would like to thank the Red Cross, the four wheel drive club and other volunteers across Canterbury for their assistance in getting meals to people in these challenging conditions this week.

PRIMARY CARE – GPs and Pharmacies

Most General Practice Teams in both urban and rural areas are open. However it’s still advisable to phone your GP if you have a doctor’s appointment to check they’re open before leaving home. If they’re closed your call will be answered 24/7 by a registered nurse who will be able to advise you on what to do.

You may be directed to another General Practice that is close to where you live or one of three after-hours clinics in Christchurch. (These are the 24-hour medical centre in Bealey Avenue; the Riccarton clinic in Riccarton Road and Moorhouse Medical off Moorhouse Ave).

MEDICATIONS – If your prescriptions are running low

1. Phone your usual pharmacy (or GP) explain the problem.
2. If you are unavailable to contact your usual pharmacy or General Practice Team, phone the Urgent Pharmacy on (03) 366 4439
3. Your GP, pharmacist or the Urgent Pharmacy will advise what to do and make appropriate arrangements where necessary.



While road conditions have improved significantly since Monday, potential for black ice is very high over the next few mornings with frosts forecast. Staff and the public are advised to take care when making their way around the city. Transport is difficult for many people and if Canterbury Health System staff have problems getting to work they should let their manager know as soon as possible.


Laboratory services are operating as usual. People should communicate with the laboratory services through the normal contact numbers.


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