DHBs ready to take patients from Canterbury

5:28 pm on 23 February 2011

The second largest district health board in the South Island says it has plenty of bed space to take extra patients in Tuesday's earthquake.

The Southern DHB, incorporating Otago and Southland, says it is picking up its first set of patients from Christchurch Hospital on Wednesday for transporting to Dunedin and Invercargill.

The DHB's incident controller, Leanne Samuel, says non-urgent surgery has been postponed in Dunedin and Invercargill and those hospitals are backed by others in the region.

"There's some capacity, in Oamaru, Gore, Balclutha, and Queenstown if we require to, for example, discharge out of the base hospitals into those areas so we can take the sicker patients into the base hospitals," she said.

Nelson ready for the injured

Nelson Hospital says it expects the first patients from Canterbury to arrive on Wednesday afternoon.

Some 100 available aged residential care beds across the Nelson/Marlborough District have been opened up for residents affected by the earthquake.

The Nelson/Marlborough District Health Board says it's sourcing urgent medical supplies from Auckland for its hospitals.

The DHB says there are also pregnant women who have evacuated to Blenheim and will need midwifery support.

Some surgery could be suspended in Hawke's Bay

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board says elective surgery at the Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings will be suspended, if there's a need to transfer injured people from Christchurch Hospital.

DHB Chief Executive Dr Kevin Snee says two retrieval teams from the DHB were on Wednesday transferring several intensive care patients from Christchchurch to the hospital in Hastings. He also says extra staff may be brought in if needed.

Mr Snee says, to try to free up bed space, the DHB will also consider discharging patients who are almost ready to go home.