The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has issued a notice saying both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals will be “extremely busy” today with a high number of patients arriving for treatment.
They took to Facebook last night asking people that were unwell to phone their GP before going to the hospital.
BOPDHB senior manager Sarah Mitchell says alternatively people can phone the HealthLine 0800 358 5453 or go to www.healthline.govt.nz, for free health advice.
People with life-threatening conditions, severe or rapidly worsening symptoms, or major injuries are advised to call 111 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.
The post states that 2nd Avenue Medical Centre in Tauranga is also open from 8am-9pm.
“We appreciate people understanding how busy the hospitals are, and that rather than coming to our hospitals first, they check in with their GP or phone the 0800 358 5453 HealthLine,” says Sarah.
Members of the public are commenting on the Facebook post asking where the unprecedented amount of patients are coming from.
“Where are these unprecedented amounts of patients coming from, and for what illness? Give some facts instead of making people assume the worst,” says one commenter.
“Why is tonight any different for these hospitals,” says another.
There are more than 190 comments on the post.
A communications advisor for the BOPDHB says they will be supplying a statement with further explanation shortly.