Dunedin Hospital was at 100% capacity yesterday, but a
Southern District Health Board spokesman says the hospital is
All hospitals in Otago and Southland were extremely busy, a
DHB press release said.
Nursing executive director Leanne Samuel said hospitals were
busy with influenza-like illness, pneumonia and winter
Higher-than-normal levels of staff sickness were exacerbating
Southland Hospital was at 97% capacity.
GPs had been asked to send Central Otago patients needing
hospital admission to Invercargill rather than Dunedin.
Two people were in Dunedin's intensive care unit with
The spokesman said other winter-related illnesses and
complications such as pneumonia were a bigger factor at
Dunedin Hospital than flu-like illness, although things could
change very quickly.
The situation was being managed through bed rotation, with
longer waiting times in the emergency department a likely
consequence of full capacity.
Ms Samuel said many patients had a high level of illness,
meaning longer stays in hospital.
"We are working to manage this at a district level with input
from medical, nursing, allied health and management staff.
"All staff are making a tremendous effort to manage the extra
workload and we appreciate the positive approach staff are
taking as we navigate this very busy time."
A weekly flu update yesterday from ESR showed that in the
week ending August 5, Southern DHB's rate of consultations
for flu-like illness was about 230 per 100,000 population.
The national average was 154.1.