Hawera Emergency Department is for emergencies only

9 June 2015

Hawera Hospital’s Emergency department is running at capacity and is urging people who are feeling under the weather to visit their GP with non urgent health complaints.

Virginia Ekdahl, Hawera Hospital Manager said “There are a large number of people visiting our Emergency Department who would be better managed in primary care by GPs and nurses. Hawera ED should be kept for emergencies only.”

Because of this, Hawera hospital has recently implemented the ED redirection programme. The ED redirection programme will help make sure people who come to ED really need to be there with Doctors and Nurses being able to focus on patients who are critically unwell.

Mrs Ekdahl said, “If a person comes into ED and once assessed by a health professional, is considered best seen by a GP, staff will ring and make an appointment with the person’s GP or direct them to a GP who will be able to see them in a timely manner.”

People that have been redirected from ED to their GP for an appointment on the same day will only pay their usual GP fee. There are low cost GP practices in Stratford, Opunake, Hawera and Patea. Children under 6 are free at all practices and from 1 July this extends to all children under the age of 13.

“Of course it is very important that patients experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED.  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,” said Mrs Ekdahl.

It is also really important that people understand they do have other options rather than coming to ED with their non-urgent health concerns. This keeps Hawera ED free to deal with patients who need serious and more urgent medical help.

 “We really encourage people who are feeling under the weather to make an appointment with their GP as soon as they feel unwell. If someone suffers from a headcold, for example, they can visit their pharmacy or GP instead of coming to ED,” advised Mrs Ekdahl.

“Another example are the concerned parents whose baby has woken late at night with a temperature. They don’t need to visit ED, but can instead call 0800 Healthline - it’s a 24 hour service. Nurses will address the symptoms, recommend a care plan and help to reassure worried parents,” she said.

People can also download and use the free Healthline symptom checker app that provides expert health advice and information from Healthline, complementing the Healthline telephone advice service. To download visit www.healthline.govt.nz.



For more information please call:
Cressida Gates, Media Advisor, 027 703 6177


Last updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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