With the number of ED patients hitting record high, many non-essential surgeries are not being performed.

As the Emergency Department receives a record influx of patients, Hawke’s Bay Hospital had to delay non-life-threatening surgeries.

The demand for hospital services proved exceptionally high in 2017, especially for acute surgeries – which had been running around-the-clock since Christmas Eve.

Acting chief executive Sharon Mason announced that with the hospital hitting maximum capacity, some selected surgeries were forced to be postponed to a later date.

“We apologise to everyone affected by this, but we need to maintain a safe hospital which we can only do by releasing some of the pressure. One way is to postpone elective surgeries. We are also asking the public to help and leave ED for emergencies only.”

With a high number of people requiring emergency surgery and post-treatment care, hospital staff were prepared to remain working at capacity. Front-line doctors have also previously expressed the frustration of being inundated with non-emergency matters. ED staff had treated almost 600 people within a four-day period.

Mrs Mason explained that a large number of individuals continue to take up ED facilities with trivial injuries and illnesses. This not only takes a toll on the hospital’s limited resources, but also prevents emergency staff from treating patients who are in dire need of assistance.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board recently passed a $12 million investment to revamp the operating theatre, which will increase surgical capacity by 2019.

The aim of the refurbishment is to accommodate for the growing demand of emergency treatment. The plan includes building an extra theatre and improving other services.

Building work is projected to begin in 2019, and the facility should be completed by 2020.

Source: NZ Herald