Call your GP first


Ashburton residents are encouraged to make their GP team their first call this Easter long weekend.


Bernice Marra, Ashburton Health Services Manager, says, the people of Ashburton will receive care around the clock during the public holidays just like they do any other time of the year.


“Unless it’s an emergency when you should call 111, always make your general practice team your first call 24/7 when you, or someone in your family is sick,” Bernice says.


“If it’s after hours or your general practice is closed, you’ll be able to speak to a nurse who will give you free health advice.”


Bernice says the nurse can advise you on what to do and where to go if you need urgent care.


“Just phone your usual general practice number and you’ll get care around the clock,” she says.


If you are not enrolled with a general practice, you can call any general practice number after hours for free advice.


Dr Graham Ritchie, from Tinwald Medical Centre, says now is the time to be proactive about your health.


“Don’t leave it until it’s too late or things can spiral out of control,” Dr Ritchie says.


“Public holidays or not, it’s always important to be proactive about your health and keep on top of any health concerns before they turn serious.”


Jane Brosnahan, Ashburton Hospital director of nursing, agrees.


“It is wise to plan ahead to sort out non-urgent health concerns prior to a long weekend,” Jane says.


“After hours resources can be stretched if demand is high and this can result in longer waits.”


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