Health staff ask people to seek out a GP for minor injuries

Goulburn Base Hospital.
Goulburn Base Hospital.

Anyone with minor injuries is being asked to visit a GP so Goulburn Base Hospital emergency staff can treat more urgent patients.

Southern NSW Local Health District CEO Andrew Newton said demand on hospital emergency departments continues to increase despite a mild flu season. “While the number of people presenting to emergency departments with influenza remains low, our emergency departments are still very busy,” Mr Newton said.

“The Local Health District is managing this patient load very successfully but it’s important people understand that emergency departments must prioritise more urgent cases.

“There has been a steep jump in patients presenting with very urgent and critical illnesses, up by more than 11 per cent in June 2018 compared with the same time last year.”

The NSW Government is investing a record $22.9 billion in health in 2018-2019, representing a $1.1 billion increase over the 2017-2018 Budget.

Southern NSW Local Health District general manager, Denis Thomas, said there are several pharmacies, medical clinics and doctors in the Goulburn area for non-emergency medical problems.

There is also a 24-hour service available, HealthDirect, (1800 022 222), which is manned by health professionals who can provide advice on health concerns.

“If you have flu like symptoms, it’s best to visit your GP in the first instance,” Mr Thomas said.

“Emergency departments are very busy places. Even when the waiting room is relatively empty, there might be high demand in treatment areas.

“All presentations to emergency are prioritised according to the severity of illness or injury, not by arrival time.

“Please be patient while waiting - or seek one of the alternative health options. Patients admitted to Goulburn Base Hospital may be transferred to one of the other facilities in the Health District for the duration of their recovery period.”