Hawke’s Bay Hospital is at full capacity, and unless it’s an emergency, people are being urged to seek medical care from their family doctor or medical centre.

Chief Medical Officer, Primary Care, Mark Peterson said the hospital was very busy with a surge of patients presenting over the past few days with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.

Dr Peterson said people presenting with minor injuries or illnesses could expect to wait for a long time as the Emergency Department prioritised patients needing urgent care. "Emergency Department clinicians are highly trained in emergency care - caring for people with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. For minor injuries and illnesses the family doctor should be your first call. An early visit to your doctor can often prevent a hospital stay or emergency presentation," Dr Peterson said.

To cope with the pressure, at the hospital, surgeries were being reshuffled and bed numbers have been increased. The situation was not expected to ease for at least a few days, he said.

Dr Peterson encouraged people to see their family doctor or to call Healthline 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24 hours a day or for more advice. Where to find a family doctor and other health information people could check www.ourhealthhb.nz, which can provide health information specifically forHawke’s Bay people.

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