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Speaking as a senior doctors’ union representative, Dr Chambers said the emergency department had been extremely busy, and some patients were experiencing long delays.
"In general [the hospital] is completely full most days, full of patients requiring medical care and surgery.
"Patients back up in the ED if the wards are full."
Dr Chambers said hospital management was trying to address the problem with new initiatives.
Staff morale was good, but people were feeling the strain. SDHB chief medical officer Dr Nigel Millar acknowledged Dr Chambers had provided an "accurate overview" of the hospital’s challenges, which are "particularly felt in the emergency department".