An influx of winter illnesses has caused Rotorua and Taupō Hospitals to experience high demand this week.
According to Lakes District Health Board the two hospitals had full emergency departments and little capacity for admitting new patients.
When asked why, a spokeswoman said it wasn't due to any one thing, but rather "the usual range of acute winter illnesses".
The district health board's acting chief executive Nick Saville-Wood asked people to think about the best place to go for health care. He said it was helpful if people who needed non-urgent care went to a GP or Lakes Primecare.
"Patients coming to the emergency department will be initially assessed and then treated, according to the severity of their condition.
"It's preferable that patients maintain contact with their doctor in their own medical centre, as the GP is very often the person to provide the right care at the right time."
Saville-Wood asked those with minor health issues to visit a family doctor, community emergency clinics or contact Healthline on 0800 611 116.
He said Lakes Primecare would offer after hours service and was a good option for people from out of town.