With the chill of winter now biting in many parts of the country, Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora have released a series of videos to help people understand the health care options available to them when they get sick.


The winter months are typically the busiest for health care services right across the motu and choosing the right type of care can help ease pressures right across the system. 


Emergency departments in our country’s hospitals get particularly busy over winter and Dr Vanessa Thornton from Middlemore Hospital says it’s important that emergency departments see the sickest members of our communities and that EDs are reserved for emergencies only.


“If you’re feeling seriously unwell or your child is very sick then obviously the emergency department will be available and is open 24-7,” Dr Thornton says. “We always will see the sickest patients first.”


Te Whatu Ora, alongiside Te Aka Whai Ora, are today releasing a series of six videos aimed at helping people in need of care with deciding who they should turn to, when and for which conditions.


Each 90-second video features a range of frontline workers who see it all, year in and year out, winter or outside of winter.


They include Middlemore Hospital’s Emergency Department, Hato Hone St John, urban and rural doctors, pharmacists, telehealth and our Māori and Pacific health provider partners.


Note: Spokespeople shown in the videos can be available to interview on request.


Links to videos below:

  1. Emergency Departments – featuring Dr Vanessa Thornton, Middlemore Hospital ED clinician and Alisha Cossar, Hato Hone St John
  2. Rural GPsfeaturing Dr Fiona Bolden, Rural GP Network Chair
  3. GPsfeaturing Dr Hinamaha Lutui, Southpoint Family Doctors and Dr Mamaeroa David, McLaren Park Medical Centre
  4. Healthline (run by Whakarongorau)featuring Ingrid Tan, Whakarongorau Aotearoa
  5. Community providersfeaturing Natasha Kemp, Manurewa Marae CEO and Dr Nua Tupai, Bader Drive Doctors
  6. Pharmaciesfeaturing Brook McKaye, Queen St Pharmacy


Media contact:

Carla Penman, Senior Media Advisor, Te Whatu Ora

Ph 027 785 3125; email: carla.penman@health.govt.nz; hnzmedia@health.govt.nz