Taranaki DHB refutes claims Hawera ED is closing to public

7 August 2019

Taranaki DHB reassures the people of South Taranaki that Hawera Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is NOT closing to the public.

Rosemary Clements, Taranaki DHB CE says, “It’s disappointing there are some community leaders spreading misinformation that is simply not true and Taranaki DHB wants to put the record straight.”

“We are proposing that people visit Hawera ED for emergencies and urgent health issues while people with non-urgent health issues visit their GP, not ED. This is not and never has been about closing Hawera ED to the public. It is about people accessing the right care in the right place at the right time.”

“While the DHB has its financial challenges this is not all about savings targets either”, reassures Mrs Clements. “We recognise the fragility of general practise services in South Taranaki but we anticipate that with some DHB investment we can make improvements to GP access.”

For well over a year, the DHB has been meeting with the South Taranaki Community forum and South Taranaki Health Sector, including Pinnacle (the Primary health organisation), St John, GPs, including Ngati Ruanui Medical Centre and local Iwi to determine what help and support the DHB can provide the primary care sector to help address GP appointment timeframes and other service issues.

“Our DHB has been making good headway with these groups to address a very complex range of issues but we need these discussions to continue in a constructive way to ensure improvements to General Practise can be achieved.”

Mrs Clements says, “Taranaki DHB knows all too well that providing GP health services from an ED leads to poorer health outcomes for patients, particularly those with complex health and social needs. Right now, this is having the highest impact on Māori, children and those living in socially deprived communities and this needs to change.”

Taranaki DHB says the facts are very clear;

  • For a long time, a significant number of people have used Hawera ED for their non urgent healthcare needs rather than using their general practice (GP). Currently 64% of people come to ED with non urgent issues.
  • By non urgent we mean coughs, colds, ear ache, strains, sprains and cuts and other minor injuries, also people with long term, complex conditions.
  • Providing GP health services from an ED leads to poorer health outcomes for patients, particularly those with complex health and social needs.
  • Hawera ED doctors and nurses are expertly trained to treat people who are critically unwell and have serious and urgent medical issues. They are not trained to deliver holistic GP services.
  • By serious and urgent health issues we mean heart attacks, strokes, influenza, respiratory problems and people involved in accidents with severe injuries.
  • Hawera ED sees approximately 1350 patients per month, of which 1100 are discharged within 3 hours, 200 are discharged beyond 3 hours and 50 are admitted to hospital.


For more information please call: Cressida Gates-Thompson, Communications & Media Manager, 0277036177



Last updated: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

About Us | Contact Us | Find Us | Sitemap | Disclaimer | Ministry of Health | New Zealand Government | Te Whatu Ora Taranaki Private Bag 2016 New Plymouth 4340 | © 2010