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ACT emergency departments filling up as cold weather sets in

Date

Peter Jean

Canberra Hospital and Calvary's (pictured) emergency departments have been hit by a record number of patients... and the situation is set to worsen as it gets colder.

Canberra Hospital and Calvary's (pictured) emergency departments have been hit by a record number of patients... and the situation is set to worsen as it gets colder. Photo: Karleen Minney

Canberra's two hospital emergency departments are being hit with record number of patients seeking care, and the situation is set to worsen as the cold weather continues.

Canberra Hospital senior emergency physician Greg Hollis has urged patients with non-urgent conditions to avoid going to the emergency department.

Dr Hollis says there has been a record number of patient presentations in recent weeks at both The Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital casualty departments.

"Across the territory there has been a total of over 10,000 presentations in both March and again in April, which unfortunately has continued to break records," Dr Hollis says.

Dr Hollis says the colder weather had contributed to an increase in respiratory and infectious illnesses.

He says patients with less-serious conditions could consider going to the nurse-led walk-in centre at The Canberra Hospital, extended-hours GP services or seeking advice from a pharmacist.

"The EDs will continue to be very busy during the winter months but emergency patients will continue to be seen as rapidly as possible. Staff are highly professional and will always work to provide the best possible care," he said.

The Canberra Hospital's ED is being extended to create new treatment spaces.

The ACT Health Directorate website has information on general practice services available in the ACT.

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