Winter has started and hospitals across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District have again boosted staff numbers and additional measures have been put in place for the busy winter period.
Chief Executive Jill Ludford said Wagga Wagga Base Hospital welcomed more than 10 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in May to help manage the expected winter demand.
“If required, we have the capacity to increase staffing further and to cover any of our staff members becoming ill in recognition that winter is traditionally a very busy time for any hospital
We will do whatever we can to ensure our patients are seen and treated as soon as possible during winter," Ms Ludford said.
2017 saw 34,606 people visit the emergency departments across the District, which was an increase of nearly 2,000 people more than the previous year.
Ms Ludford stressed the importance of visiting the GP for treatment of less serious illnesses to ensure emergency departments are freed-up for emergencies.
The District has now provided more appointments for Hospital in the Home at Griffith and Wagga Wagga, as well as after-hours GP services in Wagga Wagga provided by the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network.
As flu season begins, annual vaccination is the best protection. Follow these steps to help prevent the spread of influenza:
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow
- Clean your hands
- Stay home when sick