Planning holiday healthcare reduces chance of ED visit

17 December 2019

As Taranaki’s hospital Emergency Departments prepare for the busy festive season, the public are being encouraged to plan their holiday healthcare to reduce their chances of getting unwell and needing medical treatment at Christmas time.

Therese Manning, clinical nurse manager at Base Hospital ED, says with better holiday planning people won’t end up in ED unless they need serious and urgent medical attention.

“We recommend people plan to see their GP before Christmas and ensure their tests and immunisations are up to date, as well as renewing prescriptions for regular medicines.

“There are simple things you can do to keep you and your whānau safe and healthy at Christmas like remembering to be sun smart, being responsible with alcohol, washing your hands (especially when cooking food) and staying hydrated,” says Mrs Manning.

Taranaki Base and Hawera Hospital Emergency departments often run at capacity and need to minimise the high numbers of non-urgent people coming into ED over the Christmas/New Year period.

Mrs Manning says “We often have people turning up to ED with minor complaints such as hay fever, mild tummy bugs, and summer coughs and colds. We are also noticing an increase in the number of people suffering from the side effects of taking drugs and alcohol.  

“These non-urgent health issues are better managed by your GP (doctor), local pharmacist, calling Healthline or visiting Medi-Cross and Phoenix.

“Our ED teams are extremely well trained to take care of people in the first few moments of an illness or injury which can be critical to a patient’s outcome. We deal with serious pain and trauma like heart attacks, strokes and people involved in motor accidents that have severe injuries. That’s what we are here for and are really good at.”

If you, a family member or someone close to you is feeling unwell during the festive season please contact your medical centre first. They will be able to advise you where to go for help, or divert you to Healthline (0800 611 116) who can help you assess the best treatment and next steps.

Some GPs and medical centres may have different hours of work during this time so go to for up to date information.

Mrs Manning advises “Of course it is very important that people experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED. But if everyone else could save ED for emergencies this festive season that would be appreciated,” she says.

Last updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

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