Rotorua Hospital Emergency Department doctors are urging people to plan ahead so that they have the medication they need to stay healthy.

Head of Emergency Department Dr Suzanne Moran said emergency departments did occasionally see people who had run out of their usual medication and had not been able to see their GP in time to get a repeat prescription.

The number of people affected by not taking their usual medications had also increased over recent weeks with the lockdown restrictions and uncertainties due to Covid-19, Moran said.

"Understandably, this has recently become more of an issue. We have seen an increase in people attending ED requesting repeat prescriptions of their painkillers, blood pressure tablets etcetera.

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"In some cases, people have become ill as a result of not having their medication and their chronic health condition has deteriorated, causing them to need to seek emergency treatment. Sometimes this can result in very serious problems such as seizures or strokes."

Head of Emergency Department Dr Suzanne Moran said more people have come into ED due to prescription complications. Photo / Supplied
Head of Emergency Department Dr Suzanne Moran said more people have come into ED due to prescription complications. Photo / Supplied

Moran said it was important to remember that GPs do not issue repeat prescriptions, they also check in with their patients and monitor the condition the medication is treating.

This is why it is best to go to the GP or contact them by phone before the medication runs out, she said.

GPs in Rotorua and Taupo are open. People needing health care and regular medications for long-term conditions should not delay in accessing their GP.

General practices will be physically operating differently to meet the requirements of alert level 2 with most practices still using a balance of phone, virtual consults and face-to-face consultations.

Moran urged residents to contact their general practice in the first instance to see how they best can help and to keep up with regular medications.

Pharmacists are also a very useful point of contact as they can work with the GP to solve problems relating to repeat prescriptions, Moran added.