Urgent visits to GPs free for another week

5:51 pm on 27 February 2011

Free urgent visits to the family doctor have been extended by another week for Canterbury residents.

Canterbury District Health Board says people must phone their own GP practice first and if it is not open a nurse will direct callers to the nearest one that is open.

Prescription fees have also been waived until Sunday 6 March.

Meanwhile, officials say Christchurch Hospital is coping, with enough staff and no capacity problems.

The district health board says 309 people are in the hospital, with 15 patients in intensive care.

It's not known how many of those in intensive care are there as a result of the quake.

There are also 22 patients in the emergency department.

The hospital says orthopaedics remains busy and cardiology is quieter.

Neonatal intensive care is also still busy, while maternity services are busy but steady.

Ten babies were born in Christchurch in the 12 hours to just before midday on Sunday.

Staff say that is what would be expected at this time of year.

Princess Margaret Hospital has 153 patients, Burwood Hospital 81 and Ashburton 14.

The DHB says most family doctors are now open.