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Source: Taranaki DHB

As Taranaki’s hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) 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 over the Christmas/New Year period.
Therese Manning, Taranaki Base Hospital ED clinical nurse manager says, “We want everyone to enjoy the festive season without the stress of becoming unwell. It’s really important that people see their GP before Christmas to renew any prescriptions for regular medicines, and ensure any required tests and immunisations are up-to-date.
“People can also keep themselves and their whānau safe and healthy by being sun-smart, being responsible with alcohol, practicing good hand hygiene and staying hydrated.”
A range of healthcare options are available to the community that are best-equipped to provide care for those with non-emergency health issues like hay fever, mild tummy bugs, summer coughs and colds. These include calling Healthline, seeing your usual general practitioner (doctor), a local pharmacy, or visiting MediCross or Phoenix urgent care clinics.
COVID-19 testing will also be available throughout the festive season at designated testing centres (go to for more information).
EDs at Taranaki Base and Hāwera hospitals often run at capacity over the festive season, so encouraging people to be proactive about their healthcare during this time is key to reducing this demand.
“ED staff are experts in treating people in the first few moments of an illness or injury which can be critical to a patient’s outcome. They 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,” says Mrs Manning.
If you, a family member or someone close to you is feeling unwell during the festive season, Healthline (0800 611 116) is free and available 24/7 to provide advice about what’s happening for you and recommend the most appropriate next steps to get the health care you need.
Mrs Manning advises, “Of course it is very important that people experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go directly to ED. But if everyone else could save ED for emergencies this festive season that would be very much appreciated.”