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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.

March 2, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Update, 2nd March 2011

General Practices and Emergency Department

There has been an increase in presentations to General Practices and the Greymouth Emergency Department from people who have relocated from Christchurch. This increase is currently manageable, and the situation is being monitored.

Elective Surgery

The West Coast District Health Board's elective surgery is generally continuing as usual. Some non-urgent elective surgery cases will be postponed in order to accommodate urgent and non-deferrable elective surgery transferred from the Canterbury DHB during this week, and possibly during next week as well. Postponed surgery will be rescheduled. Patients and staff are thanked for their tolerance of these changes.

Christchurch Patients

The West Coast District Health Board have received a number of patients transferred from Canterbury District Health Board – these patients are mainly West Coast patients returning to recover in Greymouth following care in Christchurch, and this will continue in the foreseeable future.

Aged Care

A small number of Rest home patients have also been relocated to the West Coast. All requests for aged-care related transfers are being managed through the Carelink Office.

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 District Health Board.


There continues to be additional demand on West Coast social agencies following the quake - both from people who have been displaced by the quake and from West Coast residents with family and friends who have been directly affected. A meeting of all Government and NGO agencies was held today to ensure that services will be as co-ordinated as possible.

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 - www.health.govt.nz - under the banner headline "Christchurch Earthquake".

Two other fact sheets with details and advice are available on the West Coast DHB Intranet/Website on the "Earthquake information" page. Printed copies of these fact sheets are being distributed to reception areas throughout the DHB.

A link to the WINZ website is also on this page. It contains contact phone numbers for various social agencies as well as details of financial assistance available to persons affected by the earthquake.


Currently requests for volunteers to go to Christchurch to assist the Canty DHB are being co-ordinated in a national process through the Ministry of Health. It is important that this continues so that requests from Canty DHB are managed in an orderly manner. At the same time it is important that the West Coast DHB maintains a level of staffing in order to be able to provide services to the West Coast. If staff are contacted by any other agency requesting volunteers other than the West Coast DHB, then please contact Mark Bowen during work hours on (03) 769-7400, ext 2780.

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