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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Timaru Hospital Emergency Department

Emergency Departments seek to provide care and treatment for those with serious injuries or illness. Timaru Hospital's Emergency Department is an increasingly busy place. A significant proportion of these attendances are people who could be seen and treated by a GP or after-hours doctor. This can result in longer wait times for some people, and often frustrating and anxious experiences.

Wait times

The length of wait depends on how urgent your problem is. People with more serious problems have priority over people with less urgent conditions.

It isn't possible to predict when the Emergency Department will be busy, but be assured that staff are working hard to ensure those requiring immediate or urgent attention are seen as quickly as possible and given the best care possible.

Knowing how serious my condition is

When in doubt, ring your GP, describe your symptoms, and seek advice.

If you need urgent medical attention, don't hesitate to call an ambulance on 111 or come to the Emergency Department immediately.

When you arrive at the Emergency Department

When you arrive at Timaru Hospital's Emergency Department, a registered nurse will assess your illness or injury and then prioritise your condition to ensure you receive the right care at the right time. This triage system means that patients in most urgent need are given priority. In some cases, the nurse may suggest that you see your GP or an after-hours service if you don't need emergency treatment.

After you've been assessed, you'll be advised of your triage level and the likely length of time you may wait to receive a doctor's attention.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2019.

Page reference: 69538

Review key: HIEMG-274747