Waitaki District Health Services


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Oamaru Hospital ED Closed Saturday and Sunday Nights 12th/13th August 2023 - 11th Aug 2023

Oamaru Hospital ED will be closed both Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend

  • Oamaru Hospital will be closing its Emergency Department (ED) on both Saturday and Sunday nights from 5pm to 8am over the coming weekend of 12th and 13th August. This is due to ongoing Doctor shortages nationwide.  Even so, the ED will be open between 8am and 5pm over the weekend.
  • Anyone in need of emergency care during Saturday or Sunday night should call the on-call GP in the first instance, or if it is really serious, then an ambulance should be called.
  • St Johns ambulance has been alerted to the situation.  Local GPs and residential care facilities have also been advised.
  • As a result of the limited Dr coverage this weekend, our ward patients will also be assessed and potentially might be relocated to Dunedin Public Hospital if needed to ensure their ongoing clinical safety and care, though we will try and minimise that as best we can.  Ultimately, ensuring the clinical safety and wellbeing of our patients is our overwhelming focus.
  • Oamaru Hospital has been working closely alongside Te Whatu Ora for the past few weeks to address this looming Dr shortage, but in the end Te Whatu Ora was unfortunately unable to provide a Dr to alleviate a closure.  While we have tried to minimise the impact and length of closure as best as we are able in the circumstances, we are still left with no option but to close in order to ensure the clinical safety of our patients.  This was, and is, a situation that none of us want to find ourselves in. Equally, with the current nationwide Dr shortages, Te Whatu Ora tell us there is nothing they can do.

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