Christchurch residents battling insurance companies over problems caused by liquefaction have been told to ask their doctors to advocate for them.
Canterbury District Health Board says hundreds of homes across the city are being affected by damp and mould caused by fungus growing in silt under buildings.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says he has heard of a number of people developing respiratory diseases, heart problems and mental health problems as a result of living in cold, damp conditions.
He says those who cannot move out of their homes, and are having trouble with their insurers, should ask their doctors to act as advocates.
"We do know EQC and other insurers have been very good to people at times ... they've helped out even though they're not obliged to."
Dr Humphrey expects hospital admissions to increase as the weather gets colder.