Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department “under significant pressure”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 11, 2023 |

The Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital is currently under significant pressure.

Yesterday the ED team saw 412 people in a 24-hour period – this is a record number of presentations.

Canterbury’s Chief Medical Officer Richard French said“as is always the case in ED, people who need care more urgently will be seen sooner and will get the care they need – those with less urgent conditions will have to wait, and currently the waiting times are longer than usual.

“If you don’t need emergency care, please phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night and they can advise you on what to do and where to go if you do need to be seen urgently.  You can also call your usual general practice or speak to your local pharmacist for health advice.”

“There is no single condition causing the high demand, it is a range of illnesses affecting the community.

“Although we are asking for your help in reducing demand, if you are really unwell we do still want to see you. I apologise to those who are having to wait and understand that this can be particularly distressing when you are unwell.”

There are a number of options available if you have a non-urgent health problem and can’t get in to see your general practice team.

  • Minor injuries and illnesses like colds, coughs, fevers and mild COVID-19 can be treated safely at home. Check out the free advice available on Healthify in the Health A to Z

  • Consider a virtual appointment with a clinician online via a device such as your phone, laptop or tablet (

  • Free health advice is available 24/7 from Healthline on 0800 611 116 

  • Your local pharmacy can advise on over-the-counter medications and treatments including pain management.

  • Most Canterbury pharmacies are also offering free advice and where applicable, free medicines for certain minor health conditions for eligible people. See more:

  • Many GPs can issue repeat prescriptions over the phone or online 
    If you have a sprain or injury, you can go straight to a physio without a referral – they can register an ACC claim, and organise X-rays and specialist referrals. 

 A reminder, if you have a life-threatening emergency, do not hesitate, call 111.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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