A Northland paediatrican says the failure of GPs to provide after-hours care is making things harder on Whangarei hospital.
Northland Health child health clinical director Roger Tuck says the hospital is working at the outer limits of its resources and the number of acute admissions is growing every year.
He says that is partly due to the number of children being taken to the emergency department, because there is no GP service in Whangarei after 8pm.
Dr Tuck claims GPs are less dedicated than they used to be and appear to have absolved themselves of any responsibility in Whangarei for their patients after-hours.
He believes Northland Health should start its own GP clinic at the hospital.
The organisation that helps to fund after-hours GP care in Whangarei is defending the service.
The Manaia PHO says Whangarei has a better after-hours GP service than most cities.
Director Chris Farrelly says the PHO heavily subsidises children's GP visits, including after-hours care.