Thursday 26 June, 2019

Record patient numbers at Tauranga Hospital's Emergency Department as people asked to keep ED for emergencies

Tauranga Hospital Emergency Department has experienced its busiest day outside of New Year's Day ever, with over 200 patients coming through its doors in one 24-hour period recently. 

On Monday 17 June, 208 people were treated and healthcare bosses are issuing a renewed call for those who do not need emergency treatment to keep the department for those that do. 

Emergency Department (ED) Business Leader Neil McKelvie said the high volumes were putting a lot of pressure on the hospital's workforce. 

"The last couple of weeks have been really noticeable for the increase in numbers culminating in last Monday's total in excess of 200," he said. "We would like people to ask themselves whether they really need to see an emergency doctor before coming. Those that do not need to be in ED will face significant waits as there are a lot of sick people coming through the doors at present who do, and they will get priority." 

Mr McKelvie said the winter-type illnesses currently circulating were not only having an impact on patient numbers but also meant many hospital staff were off work sick. 

"We're seeing a lot of people with winter-type illnesses typical of this time of year, however many of these are more appropriately treated by a GP or pharmacist." 

The past fortnight has featured multiple days around the 170 patient mark at Tauranga Hospital's ED. By way of comparison, the average daily figure in 2018 was 145. 

"That additional 20-25 patients a day can put a real strain on the staff, and treating those who do not need to be in ED has an impact on our care for those that do," said Mr McKelvie, adding that other healthcare options were available for non-emergency situations. "The ED is for emergencies." 

Other healthcare options for non-emergency situations 

  • Visit your family doctor (GP) 
  • Visit your local pharmacy 
  • Visit Accident & Healthcare (Walk-In Family Medical Centre) located on the corner of Second Avenue and Devonport Road, Tauranga. Phone 577 0010 
  • Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice and information from a trusted health professional 
  • Call your family doctor (GP) for advice or information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your call will be answered by a healthcare professional who will give you the advice you need

Tauranga Hospital Main Entrance


For more details contact:
James Fuller
Communications Advisor - Bay of Plenty District Health Board


Last updated: June 28, 2019