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Make ED Your Last Option This Easter

Date: Wednesday 28 March 2012

Make ED Your Last Option This Easter

Waikato District Health Board and Midlands Health Network are appealing to the public to see their doctors and get their scripts filled before general practices close down over Easter.

The secondary care and primary care partners have joined forces to promote the 1 2 3 Easter ED campaign; the idea behind which is that there are three options for receiving healthcare.

Patients and visitors will see posters explaining the following when they visit Waikato Hospital or their general practice over the next few weeks.

The first place people should look for healthcare during business hours is their family doctor, the second is after hours care which can be accessed via Healthline on 0800 611 116 and the third option is ED which should only be used for health emergencies.

This campaign comes after Waikato DHB’s emergency departments, particularly Waikato Hospital ED, saw record numbers of people presenting to with general practice type ailments over the Christmas and New Year period.

“At Waikato Hospital for example, there were about 45 people presenting to ED every day that we would term as primary care,” said Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams.

“When we drilled down into the figures, it was clear that some people came to our emergency departments for things like renewal of prescriptions because they forgot to get them from their GPs before the holidays.

“With Easter coming up next weekend we’re working with Midlands Health Network to get the message out to the public that they need to plan in advance with primary care appointments."

Primary care relates to the professional health care delivered in the community, usually from a general practitioner (GP) or practice nurse.

Primary health care covers a broad range of health and preventative services, including health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening.

“An emergency department setting is often an inappropriate place for these types of presentations,” said Mrs Adams.

And the message from primary care is equally as clear.

“Our message to patients is don’t wait. Make an appointment to see your GP and free up emergency departments to deal with patients who need serious and more urgent medical help,” said Midlands Health Network chief executive John Macaskill-Smith.

ENDS

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