Free doctor visits for Cantabrians until late Thursday

5:01 pm on 23 February 2011

Earthquake-hit Canterbury residents with urgent medical needs are able to visit a family doctor free of charge until late on Thursday.

The Canterbury District Health Board says people must phone their own GP first and if they are not open, a nurse will direct callers to the nearest open GP practice.

If phones are not working, the DHB says people should go to the nearest after-hours medical centre.

The Pegasus 24-hour medical centre is open in Bealey Avenue, as well as the Moorhouse Medical Centre and the Riccarton Clinic and after-hours centre.

The DHB says more than 100 resthome residents are being relocated on Wednesday.

All elective surgery and outpatient appointments are postponed until next Tuesday.

Paediatric clinics are closed for the rest of the week.

There are no chemotherapy and radiotherapy appointments until Monday unless patients have been contacted.

Relatives looking for injured family members are asked to go to the Great Escape Cafe in the main foyer at Christchurch Hospital where a relative centre has been set up to help.

All Canterbury DHB staff who are able to work are asked to contact a manager.

Chief medical officer Nigel Millar says residents are responding well and staying away from the hospital emergency department where possible.

Boil tap water

The public is also being told to assume tap water is contaminated and unsafe to drink unless told otherwise.

Tap water should be boiled in a pot for a minute or brought to boil in a kettle twice.

People are also being advised to conserve water, but to wash hands frequently.