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News and Media Releases

Media Releases Archive

Introducing This Page

This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

February 25, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Update, 25th February 2011

Elective Surgery

West Coast DHB has resumed elective surgery however this has been impacted by the availability of some Christchurch-based specialists. Patients who have bookings for surgery should present themselves to Grey Base Hospital as arranged unless they have been contacted by the hospital.

Aged care

Plans are currently being developed across the South Island to relocate up to 200 elderly residents of rest homes affected by the earthquake. The West Coast DHB have agreed to take up to 10 people mainly in the Buller/Reefton area. We have requested that where possible they have West Coast family connections.

It is really important that if staff or members of the community have elderly relatives in rest homes in Christchurch, and you want to bring them over here, then in the first instance you should call your relative's rest home provider in Christchurch who will liaise with Canterbury DHB.

Loan Medical Equipment

A request has been sent out to the West Coast public for the return of any loan equipment that is no longer required. This includes such items as crutches, walking frames, braces, etc. This request is in anticipation of an increased demand for such items for patients who have suffered injuries as a result of the earthquake.


A Welfare Advisory Group (WAG) has been set up by Civil Defence to look after the needs of Christchurch people who may relocate to the West Coast. Facilities that these people may require, including accommodation, will be coordinated through this group. The WAG which involves many West Coast health and welfare providers, including the DHB, will oversee such accommodation options as the Seaview Hospital site which was mentioned in the local media.

Outpatients Appointments

West Coast DHB has resumed outpatient clinics however this has been impacted by the availability of some Christchurch-based specialists. Patients who have outpatient appointments should attend them as arranged unless they have been contacted by the hospital.

Outpatient Services at Christchurch Hospital

All orthopaedic fracture follow-up clinics at Christchurch Hospital are continuing as normally scheduled. Patients with elective outpatient clinic appointments for non acute problems will be contacted by CDHB. All elective surgery and outpatient appointments are postponed until Tuesday. Community Oncology - there will be no appointments for chemotherapy and radiotherapy until Monday unless patients are individually contacted earlier. All patients will be contacted in due course.

Coping Strategies on Stress and Anxiety

The Ministry of Health has created a series of fact sheets with advice and coping strategies for people experiencing stress or anxiety in the wake of this week's tragedy. These can be found on the Ministry's website.

Healthy West Coast have also have available "Coping after a Traumatic Event - a booklet of reactions, feelings and tips". Simply select the link below to open this document.

Christchurch patients

The West Coast DHB has treated several patients injured as a result of the earthquake who presented themselves at our Emergency Department after travelling independently out of Christchurch.

Grey Base Hospital has a total of 39 General Acute Beds which could be used for Medical, Surgical or other patients. We are currently operating with two theatres (as usual) and can assist with urgent elective surgery for Canterbury residents if required.

We have also received five patients from different sources - mostly West Coast residents who have been treated in Christchurch (or Dunedin) who are now stable and have been returned to recover here.


Hecta Williams
General Manager
West Coast District Health Board

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