Think health before Easter and choose well

Getting to see your doctor and thinking about your health before the long Easter weekend is the message from Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Warrick Frater chief operating officer said every Easter more and more people turned up at ED when they could have been enjoying the Easter break if they had seen the doctor before the long weekend.

Last year ED had nearly 300 people present with minor illnesses and ailments that might have been better off if they had gone to one of the medical centres open in Napier or Hastings, rung HealthLine or seen their GP before the weekend.

“Over the four day Easter holiday period last year ED staff treated and assessed nearly 500 people - this puts an enormous strain on resources and staff and it is frustrating for them when people turn up because they have forgotten to get their prescriptions filled and run out of medication.

“We are urging people to think about their health this week before the long weekend and check prescriptions are up-to-date and if you are feeling unwell think about seeing the GP and getting checked.

Mr Frater said for some people it was unavoidable and they ended up needing ED services.

“This is what ED is for - the clinicians are specialists in emergency care.

“Please help us by choosing well this Easter weekend and seeing a GP for minor accidents and injuries and getting medical help early.”

Napier GP and chief medical officer of primary care Peter Foley also stressed the importance of ensuring people had enough prescription medicines to last them over the weekend.

Dr Foley said getting medical care from the right place was important and if people were feeling unwell they should get in to see their GP before the weekend.

A number of after hours medical centres including Wellesley Road Medical Centre in Napier were open and a full list of after hours GPs was available in Napier and Hastings by calling  0800 33 88 99. Or people could HealthLine on 0800 611 116 to talk to an experienced nurse for health advice.

“Lets all help keep the pressure off ED this Easter weekend,” Dr Foley said.