20 Jul 2019

People urged to visit GPs as Queenstown hospital under pressure

6:15 pm on 20 July 2019

From the Otago Daily Times

Queenstown visitors and residents with "less serious medical conditions" are being encouraged to see a GP before going to Lakes District Hospital.

No caption

Photo: capix_arshad/ 123rf

Emergency department presentations at the Frankton hospital are up 25 percent on last year, making it the busiest year to date.

Hospital operations manager Janeen Holmes said skiing and snowboarding soft tissue injuries and fractures continued to place pressure on the department, and the visitor population at this time of year added to the workload.

However, there had also been a "significant" increase in less serious presentations, for example, coughs, colds and "minor fractures", which could have been treated by a GP.

The increase in volume could result in longer wait times at the hospital and place "tremendous stress" on resources, she said.

Walk-ins were accepted at Frankton's Wakatipu Medical Centre, in McBride St, and at Mountain Lakes Medical Centre at Frankton's Five Mile.

The Queenstown Medical Centre, in Isle St, had an accident and medical clinic and was well-placed for visitors presenting with less serious medical issues for treatment.

It could provide X-rays during office hours and take blood samples.

- This story first appeared in the Otago Daily Times

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs