Public reminded to save ED for emergencies during the Junior Doctorsí strike

14 January 2019

With the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association 48 hour strike action starting tomorrow at 7am, Taranaki District Health Board is reminding people they can help take the pressure off emergency services by saving ED for emergencies and seeking non-urgent medical assistance from other health care services.

Gillian Campbell, Taranaki DHB COO says, “The Emergency Department at Taranaki Base Hospital and Hawera Hospitals’ will remain open throughout the strike, and people shouldn’t hesitate to dial 111 in a life-threatening emergency. However, for those people with non-urgent health concerns we are urging them to visit their GP, local pharmacist, or visit MediCross or Phoenix Urgent Doctors during opening hours.”

“By non-urgent, we mean soft tissue injuries, sprained ankles, stubbed toes, common coughs and colds, ear ache and renewal of prescriptions for example. Basically, a range of injuries and symptoms that would be better managed with a call to 0800Healthline, a quick trip to the pharmacy or a visit to a GP, Medicross, or Phoenix Urgent Doctors.”

“Of course it is very important that people experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED,” she added.

For more information people should visit Taranaki DHB’s website to find out what you need to know about the junior doctors' strike.


Taranaki DHB recommends the following options for non-urgent health concerns before making the trip to ED:

  • Call Healthline on 0800 611 116. It’s a 24-hour service and registered nurses will address the symptoms, recommend a care plan and help to reassure worried parents.
  • Visit your pharmacy or a physiotherapist for advice.
  • Book an appointment with your GP. Children under 14 are free and there are low cost options for community service card holders and adults who are registered with Very Low Cost Access (VLAC) GPs in New Plymouth, Stratford, Opunake, Hawera and Patea. For more information please visit
  • If your GP is busy, away or it’s the weekend you can visit MediCross or Phoenix during opening hours in New Plymouth. They also have a doctor available 24/7 (charges apply).
  • Medicross and Phoenix offer x-ray services and can treat broken bones (charges apply).


For more information please call:
Cressida Gates-Thompson, Communications Manager, 027 703 6177



Last updated: Friday, August 13, 2021


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