1-2-3 Iím not well where should I go?

17 June 2014

Emergency departments (EDs) are not the best place for patients to come with non urgent health complaints says Taranaki DHB clinical services manager Gill Campbell.

“Taranaki Base Hospital and Hawera Hospital EDs are seeing a large number of patient visits that could be better managed in primary care by GPs and nurses,” said Mrs Campbell. “EDs are running at capacity. They should be kept for emergencies only.”

“It is important that patients experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED for treatment.  People should go to ED if for example they have chest pain, increased shortness of breath, have symptoms of a stroke, have experienced a significant fall, or have had a serious accident requiring urgent medical attention,” she said.

ED looks after patients that present in order of priority. 

Taranaki DHB and Midland Health Network the network of 99% of GPs in Taranaki are working together to ensure patients are seen in the best place so they receive the best care.

“If a patient comes into ED and would be better seen by a GP, staff will assist them to go back to general practice.”

ED staff will ring and make an appointment for the patient to be seen or direct them to a general practice who will be able to see you in a timely manner.

Midland Health Network Taranaki liaison lead Pauline Cruikshank said patients that have been redirected to the ED overflow service for an appointment on the same day will only pay their usual GP fee.  

Both Mrs Campbell and Mrs Cruikshank said it was important that patients went to
ED for all emergencies and to their GP for other medical needs.  By working so closely together, Taranaki DHB and Midlands Health Network are ensuring patients receive the right care, at the right place.

If you are not well:

  • Contact your medical centre for non urgent, less serious health concerns.  If unavailable, listen to the phone options/message or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116.  Healthline provides free advice and support from an experienced registered nurse, and is available 24/7. More information about Healthline is available at www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/healthline.
  • HealthLine Symptom Checker App
  • Visit the after hours clinic for non urgent, less serious health concerns when your GP is unavailable.
  • Visit the hospital emergency department only for serious accidents for urgent medical attention


For further information please call

Cressida Gates-Thompson
Media Adviser
Ph 027 703 6177


Last updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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