Kia ora Tatou
There’ve been a couple of news items in recent weeks which reflect the challenges facing our services.
Dr Pete Watson, Te Whatu Ora National Director of Medical, has spoken about the issue of stubbornly high waiting lists in hospitals throughout the country.
Here at Counties Manukau, we know that waiting times are frustrating - for both staff and patients however, there are some promising signs.
The number of people waiting more than 12 months for a First Specialist Appointment (FSA) - is reducing, a very pleasing sign and one that is due to considerable work by all involved.
Our team has been doing some solid work on projected wait times and we’re cautiously optimistic that we will make some meaningful inroads on our waiting lists, provided our recruitment processes can succeed in attracting much needed staff.
In the meantime, there are things the public can do to assist us in busy areas like our Emergency Department.
Please remember, if you are feeling only moderately unwell, see your GP or access one of the several online or phone services like Healthline 0800 611 116 where you can get expert advice. If it’s just a case of the sniffles, you can see your pharmacist. They give comprehensive free advice.
The other item in the news was the mention that Middlemore is expected to be one of several “hot spots” this coming winter as seasonal illnesses appear.
This is nothing too new for us at Middlemore and we always prepare as well as we can – that we have been recognised as requiring some extra support will hopefully ensure we have some more doctors and nurses on deck before the worst of the winter illnesses hit.
This is also a great reminder for the community that now is the time to be getting a flu jab – while it seems a little early and the sun is shining, having the flu jab now will enable your body to build immunity for the winter to come. We also expect updated advice on further covid vaccination and strongly advise the following guidance.
And we just don’t yet know how severe the flu season will be so it’s best to be prepared.
Stay safe, stay well.
Dr Andrew Connolly
Chief Medical Officer