Tauranga Hospital has experienced its busiest day outside of New Year's Day, and is asking locals to "keep the emergency department (ED) for emergencies".

On June 17, 208 people were treated, and the past fortnight has featured multiple days around the 170 patient mark in ED.

The average daily figure in 2018 was 145.

ED business leader Neil McKelvie said the high volumes recently have put a lot of pressure on the hospital's workforce.

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"The last couple of weeks have been really noticeable for the increase in numbers.

"We would like people to ask themselves whether they really need to see an emergency doctor before coming. Those that do not need to be in ED will face significant waits as there are a lot of sick people coming through the doors at present who do, and they will get priority."

McKelvie said the winter-type illnesses currently circulating were not only having an impact on patient numbers but also meant many hospital staff were off work sick.

"Many of these are more appropriately treated by a GP or pharmacist."

He said the additional 20 to 25 patients a day "can put a real strain on the staff".

"Treating those who do not need to be in ED has an impact on our care for those that do."

Other healthcare options for non-emergency situations
- Visit your family doctor (GP)
- Visit your local pharmacy
- Visit Accident & Healthcare located on the corner of Second Ave and Devonport Rd, Tauranga
- Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice and information from a trusted health professional
- Call your GP for advice or information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your call will be answered by a healthcare professional who will give you the advice you need