HOSPITAL emergency departments will be open 24 hours a day and emergency surgery will continue to be performed over the Christmas/New Year period at Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) facilities.
Chief executive Stewart Dowrick said unscheduled or emergency surgery will continue to be performed across the holiday period, as will essential procedures such as renal dialysis.
"Emergency departments will continue to operate around the clock for people with a serious injury or illness and those in need of urgent medical attention," Mr Dowrick said.
"For other medical issues, visit your local GP, medical centre, pharmacist or call Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022-222 for 24-hour health advice. I urge all of our community to get tested for COVID-19 even with the mildest of symptoms, such as a sore or scratchy throat, runny nose, cough and fever.
"Testing clinics are open across the Christmas break, you can find your closest one on the NSW Health website at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/clinics.aspx"
Across the Christmas and New Year period, the level of elective surgery taking place at Mid North Coast hospitals traditionally reduces.
"After the busy and challenging year we've had, many clinical staff including doctors and nurses will take the opportunity to spend some well-deserved time with their families so it makes sense to have a low activity period for surgery," Mr Dowrick said.
"The deferring of elective surgery at this time is accepted by the majority of our patients as many do not want to be in hospital over the festive season.
"People having elective surgery tend to be older and they look forward to spending time with family members, including grandchildren, at this important time of year."
Mr Dowrick said the period from the end of January through to Easter is a time of intensive activity for surgical services, particularly as the district continues to implement its accelerated surgical program.
"As 2020 draws to a close, I would like to thank the medical, hospital, community health and administration staff at our many facilities who continue to provide quality care in support of better health and quality of life for our community," Mr Dowrick said.