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Canterbury Health System update, message from David Meates CEO

Tuesday 16 February 2016Media release4 minutes to read

The Canterbury Health System's seamless response to Sunday's magnitude 5.7 earthquake demonstrates another incredible effort from those who have already been through so much.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says our health system has stood up remarkably to the Valentine's Day shake up.

“Our first priority, as always, is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients.

“However, I need to acknowledge that being only a week from the February 22 anniversary, this couldn't have come at a harder time for everyone in both the health system and wider community.

“Our collective wellbeing as Cantabrians is variable, with some taking it in their stride while for others this will be a major setback in their personal recovery from the quakes.”

Mr Meates says community mental health services will be needed more than ever and Canterbury DHB will be supporting them to respond to the needs of the community.

“As we have all learned, we need to look after ourselves before we can help others and I would encourage you to take on this advice, courtesy of Dr Nigel Millar, our Chief Medical Officer.

Reach out to people: Talk to your family, friends and neighbours.

Don't stop doing normal things like walking in the park and working on the garden – focus on the immediate good things in your life, it's often the little things that matter most.

Acknowledge how you feel and reflect on past experiences, good and bad.

Remember what we have been through, and that we still stand strong.

Keep your activity patterns healthy, watch your diet and resist the urge to binge.

If you are not coping, seek advice from your General Practice team or call the Canterbury Support Line 0800 777 846.

Mr Meates says all DHB facilities are operating as business as usual with just two exceptions.

“Thankfully, initial engineering checks of our buildings show no major structural issues, only cosmetic cracking.

“The only closures we've had have been the Burwood Birthing Unit which is having further inspections, and the hydrotherapy pool where minor repair work will be carried out.

“We have taken steps to notify users of those facilities and will let you know when their use can resume.”

Mr Meates says everyone working in the health system have responded as they have done, so many times before, ‘with total professionalism and dedication' to their community.

Next Monday, on the 5th anniversary of the Christchurch's big quake, Cantabrians will once again have the opportunity to share their experiences and hopes for the future as part of the River of Flowers commemoration. The River of Flowers is a great opportunity to reflect on what we've been through, and what we're still going through. Click here to find a River of Flowers site near you.

Where to get help if you need it:
Mental health
Phone your General Practice Team in the first instance. If you don't have a GP or are new to Canterbury, find out how to register here or check out the Primary Health Organisations – Pegasus Health, Rural Canterbury PHO, and Christchurch PHO – for where to find a GP closest to you.

Visit the All Right? Website at or go to to connect with the All Right? team who specialise in wellbeing advice.

For general information and advice on the mental health support services we have available, visit Canterbury mental health services

Emergency mental health services can be reached on 0800 920 092, 24 hours a day, every day.

General Practices and pharmacies
All are open as usual so make these your first point of contact with our health system for non-emergency care.

After-hours facilities you should know about:

The 24 Hour Surgery, cnr Bealey Ave & Colombo St 03 365 7777. Open 24hrs every day.

Moorhouse Medical, 3 Pilgrim Place 03 365 7900. Open 8am-8pm every day.

Riccarton Clinic, 6 Yaldhurst Road. Open 8am-6pm every day.

Community nursing services

These continue to be delivered, though there may be issues attending patients in the Sumner area if that is the case the nurse will advise.



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Page last updated: 19 December 2018

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