Auckland DHB requests public’s help to keep ED for emergencies

Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department is currently seeing record numbers of patients and Auckland DHB is asking for the public’s help to keep the emergency department for emergencies.

More than 1,400 patients presented to Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department last week alone. This compares to 1,290 in 2016.

Although the hospital plans for higher capacity levels at this time of year, adult demand has substantially increased over the past month.  Some of this increase has been the result of patients with minor illnesses who could have seen their GP or Accident & Medical clinic instead of coming to the emergency department.

Auckland DHB’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Margaret Wilsher says:  “We want to assure you that if you need immediate hospital-based attention, you will still receive the treatment you need, and we will provide you with the same high level of care. However, we ask that you help us by keeping the emergency department for serious emergencies.

“Auckland DHB treats some of the most ill patients and complex cases in New Zealand, and we prioritise which patients are seen first based on the seriousness of their conditions. If you arrive at our emergency department with a non-urgent injury or illness you may experience a longer wait.

“We strongly advise you to protect yourself and your whānau by visiting your GP early if you become unwell. Many of the patients we see could have avoided hospitalisation if they had seen their GP when they first experienced symptoms. We are particularly concerned for the very young and the very old in our community.”

You can help look after yourself and your whānau by:

  • Ensuring you and your whānau have this season’s flu vaccination
  • Visiting your pharmacy for minor health conditions and queries
  • Seeing your GP for all non-urgent health concerns
  • Visiting your local accident and medical clinic for minor illnesses and injuries – you can find an appropriate GP or accident and medical clinic by visiting Healthpoint(external link).

If you’re unsure where you should go, call Healthline for FREE advice from a nurse on 0800 611 116. Translators are available 24/7.

If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency department or call 111.

Auckland City Hospital is also asking for understanding that, in order to free up bed space for those who need it, patients will be discharged from hospital as soon as they are well enough to go home or receive care in the community, closer to home.

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For media enquiries please call the Auckland DHB media line on 09 375 3499 or email

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