Waitaki District Health Services


From 28/09/20 until further notice: Under Covid Level 1 hospital visiting is as follows:
• Visiting hours: 2.00pm – 4.00pm and 6.00pm – 7.00pm
• Two visitors per patient. This also ensures our vulnerable patients are getting the appropriate amount of rest. If you feel unwell, please avoid the main reception area and go directly to the Emergency Department entrance beside our Ambulance Bay (24/7) – please wear a mask, and apply hand sanitiser.


26 March 2020


Oamaru Hospital is in lock-down mode and is operating, in conjunction with the rest of the Southern Health System, the Waitaki District Council and Civil Defence through its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Waitaki District Health Services Chief Executive Officer, Ruth Kibble, says this will mean significant changes in which the hospital operates and these include an end to all visits unless prior arrangements have been made with staff and all external doors are now locked with access managed by clinical staff.

Most Outpatients Clinics have been deferred and clients with appointments will be contacted directly.

Mrs Kibble says the Emergency Department continues to operate and access is via a side door adjacent to the department and access is by ringing a bell.

However, Mrs Kibble asks if the need is not urgent people seeking treatment should contact their own doctor. For people who don’t have a doctor, there will be a GP on duty at all times.

There are five carparks next to the Emergency Department and people may be asked to wait in their cars until staff can see them.

Mrs Kibble says Radiology is making only urgent imaging and the hospital is working with the Waitaki District Council to make car parking available on Severn Street. People with radiology appointments will be asked to wait in their vehicle and be escorted inside.

Mrs Kibble says Meals on Wheels will continue and she has singled out Murray Bell from Whitestone Taxis for particular praise. “Everyone is doing a fantastic job in this time of crisis, but Whitestone Taxis are going that extra distance by delivering the meals free of charge. We thank Murray and his small team from the bottom of our hearts for this. It is a superb gesture.”

Mrs Kibble says nothing can stop baby arriving, so the Maternity Ward continues to operate, but there will be a reduction in face-to-face contact and a reduction in the number of visitors.

Mrs Kibble says the hospital will not be making public comment about matters that are being covered nationally, nor will it be announcing if there are any COVID-19 patients in this area.

“Those announcements will be made from Wellington,” says Mrs Kibble.

“However, we will be keeping our community aware of any information that is specific to the Waitaki District.”

A complete list of the changes in the Hospital’s operation is appended.


For further information please contact:

Ruth Kibble

Chief Executive Officer

Waitaki District Health Services Limited

E:  ruth.kibble@southerndhb.govt.nz

M:  027 237 5252




  1. Oamaru Hospital is working in conjunction with the Southern Health System to plan our responses to this pandemic.  This means we are no operating alone and our planning is aligned to what is happening in the rest of the Southern Health System.
  2. Since Monday 16th March this has been managed under our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).  Health is the lead agency for this pandemic and planning.  We are working in conjunction with Waitaki District Council and Civil Defence.
  3. Oamaru Hospital will not be making public statements about matters that are being covered nationally, but we will keep our community informed of any specific information relating to the Waitaki District.
  4. Oamaru Hospital has now amended its operations as below:
    1. No visitors to either the ward or maternity unless prior arrangements have been made with staff.  If you are unwell, you are asked to stay away from any visiting;
    2. All external doors are locked and access managed by clinical teams;
    3. Most Outpatient clinics have been deferred.  People with appointments will be contacted directly;
    4. Emergency Department (ED) is open and access is through the side door to ED.  You will need to ring a bell to get access;
      1. If your need is not serious or an emergency – please phone your GP.  If you do not have a GP there is a duty GP on at all times;
      2. There are five Park 30 parks outside ED in the carpark for you to park;
      3. You may be asked to wait in your car until staff can see you
    5. Radiology will be undertaking urgent imaging only.  Appoints will be made and we are working with council to get some parks on Severn Street available so people with appointments can wait in their car and be escorted in the side door to the service;
    6. Meals on Wheels is continuing. These will be delivered by Whitestone Taxis from tomorrow;
    7.  District Nursing is continuing and we are prioritising our workload.  Staff will call first to ensure you are well prior to visiting;
    8. Allied Health Services – A lot of this work has been cancelled but essential supports will be in place for equipment that enables a person to remain at home, as opposed to being admitted;
    9. Maternity is operating, however they are reducing face to face contacts.  There are restrictions on visitors and support persons during birth








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