Non-urgent patients are being advised to stay away from Waikato Hospital in Hamilton as it experiences very high demand.
A hospital spokesperson said a combination of winter ailments and accidents had resulted in the emergency department becoming full and the hospital itself very busy.
Waikato District Health Board said there were long wait times for non-urgent patients.
It said people who needed immediate or urgent care should continue to ring 111 or go directly to the emergency department, but non-urgent patients were asked to go to their GP or urgent-care clinics in the city.
Waikato Hospital Emergency Department clinical director, Dr Ian Martin, said clinical teams were doing everything they could to care for patients in a timely manner.
Over the last few days the hospital has experienced an influx of people of all ages into the Emergency Department.
”With all sorts of issues, including cardiac, respiratory and accidents. Many of whom have required a hospital admission,” Dr Martin said.
“A few of those presenting to the ED could have been seen by a GP or local urgent care centre, and we continue to encourage people to download and use the Emergency Q app to help find the best place to get appropriate care.”
Dr Martin said they were also experiencing a cold snap in the weather and that brings in an influx of patients with respiratory issues.
“Hospital staff are doing everything they can to keep people safe and treat in a timely manner, but delays for non-urgent issues will be inevitable and we ask that the community be patient with us whilst we treat the urgent presentations both within the hospital and the emergency departments.”
The DHB said the emergency department was for emergencies only.