Dr Vanessa Thornton, Clinical Director of Middlemore Hospital’s Emergency Department, is asking for the Counties Manukau community’s assistance as the hospital’s Emergency Department nears capacity levels.
“We want to ensure we provide the best care for all our patients and to do this effectively we need the community to seek the right care for their condition and understand that they don’t have to go to our Emergency Department to get the appropriate treatment,” she says.
“Most times a GP or family doctor can provide medical advice and prescriptions, and help to manage long-term conditions. If people don’t have a family doctor they can find one on Healthpoint which is an online directory for GPs and medical clinics.
“In taking these steps people will be supporting our ED staff by enabling them to focus their time and resources on patients who have life threatening emergencies.”
Dr Thornton says Accident and Medical clinics – which can also be found on Healthpoint - provide support for patients who feel unwell outside of regular GP hours or on weekends and public holidays, and will likely be closer to a patient’s home than the hospital.
“These centres provide free or low cost care for children under 14 years old, adults over 65, and Community Service Card or High User Health Card holders.
“Health advice also is available 24 hours a day by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116 with the service providing interpreters for non-English speakers.”
Dr Thornton also acknowledged and thanked the people of Counties Manukau for their support during an unprecedented and trying 12 months.
“Our community has always been incredibly responsive and generous when we have asked for their assistance and we’re calling on them once again to support us during this busy time.”
Help! I’m feeling sick, where do I go?
Your family doctor plays an important role in keeping your family healthy. Call your doctor for health advice and to make an appointment.
What if I don’t have a family doctor?
You can find a family doctor (and see their prices) at Healthpoint.
I can’t get to the doctors, what should I do?
For immediate health advice contact your family doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 to speak to a nurse - it’s free and available 24/7.
If English isn’t your first language, there are interpreters who can help.
I can’t make it to the doctors during clinic hours, where should I go?
Your local Accident and Medical (A&M) clinic is open when your doctor is closed and you need urgent care. You can view the subsidised A&M clinics in your area here.
When should I go to the hospital?
If it’s a life-threatening emergency, call 111. The Middlemore Hospital Emergency Department is for life-threatening conditions.
Unsure where to go?
Call Healthline - 0800 611 116.