Call your General Practice team if you think you have the flu

Friday July 13, 2012

Canterbury District Health Board is encouraging people to stay home if they’re unwell and call their family doctor for advice.For those who haven’t been immunised against flu contact your General Practice Team for more information. The vaccine is still free up to July 31 for under 18s, over 65s, pregnant women and anyone with a chronic illness.

Christchurch Hospital has seen an influx of flu patients over the last fortnight and the spike is expected to escalate as schools resume next week.  Currently there are 40 patients in Christchurch Hospital with either confirmed influenza or symptoms and five of those are critical patients on ventilators in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says if people are unwell and do not require hospital care they need to stay home and not spread their illness amongst colleagues or school mates.

“Call your usual General Practice team number if you need medical assistance. Even afterhours, a registered nurse will answer your call, no matter what time of night or day.”

Dr Humphrey says a phone call to your usual GP after-hours can save time and you’ll receive advice and reassurance about the level of care required.

“It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. Nurses will reassure or advise on care at home if that’s appropriate and if your need is greater, they’ll direct you to the nearest after-hours medical service, or the emergency department if that’s where you should be.”

Each time a patient uses the afterhours nurse service, their GP will receive a summary report the following day, which helps with continuity of care, he says.

“Calling your GP is a fast and effective way of getting health care. It’s also part of making sure people get the right care, in the right place at the right time. Saving patients’ time is good for everyone,” Dr Humphrey says.

For those who haven’t been immunised against flu contact your General Practice Team for more information. The vaccine is still free up to July 31 for under 18s, over 65s, pregnant women and anyone with a chronic illness.
Page last reviewed: 24 July 2013
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