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NSW Health

Essential health services for a safe holiday season

Health facilities in Northern NSW Local Health District will continue to provide 24-hour emergency, medical and COVID-19 services throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

The District also has robust response plans in place and is prepared to respond rapidly to any increase in demand for services that may arise in the situation with COVID-19.

Chief Executive Wayne Jones said hospital emergency departments will remain open 365 days a year, and health staff are on hand to care for anyone needing urgent medical attention.

“Our facilities continue to provide essential medical services for patients who require ongoing hospitalisation or treatment around the clock,” Mr Jones said.

“If you are going on holiday, and have ongoing health issues, please plan ahead to make sure you have sufficient medications and the contact details of your doctor or other care providers.”

While urgent and emergency surgery will continue over the Christmas and New Year period, elective surgery will be reduced and there will be a small reduction to some community and allied health services. Outpatient clinics will also take a two-week break.

“It’s been such a difficult year for everyone, and particular for health workers, and many of our staff are looking forward to taking some time out with family and friends,” Mr Jones said.

“Many people in our community also prefer not to be in hospital at this time of year and look forward to spending this time with their family and friends.”

“We have seen the incredible efforts of our doctors, nurses and midwives, allied health, support staff, administration, cleaning, catering and logistical teams as they have risen to every challenge this year.

“I sincerely thank each of our staff for their hard work and compassion, and I wish them and their families a safe and relaxing summer.”

For health advice 24 hours a day from trained professionals, you can call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222, or visit your local pharmacy or medical centre.

In the case of an emergency, always dial triple zero (000) or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

“COVID-19 will continue to be an ongoing concern for our community, and while we are becoming more accustomed to dealing with cases in our region, it’s important that people continue to get tested if they feel unwell,” Mr Jones said.

“Testing and staying away from others while unwell are simple but important measures we can all take to stay as safe as possible this summer.”

The Northern NSW Local Health District COVID-19 testing clinics will remain open throughout the holiday period.

These are:

Byron Central Hospital – 54 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale, NSW 2481. Open 9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days a week including public holidays

Grafton Testing Clinic – 120 North Street, Grafton, NSW 2460. Open 9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days a week, including public holidays

Lismore Base Hospital – Uralba Street, Lismore, NSW 2480. Open 9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days a week, including public holidays

The Tweed Hospital – Solander Street, Tweed Heads, NSW 2485. Open 9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days a week, including public holidays

Kyogle Multi-Purpose Service – Summerland Way, Kyogle, NSW 2474. Open 12:00pm to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday. Closed public holidays.

A full list of opening hours for all public and private testing clinics can be found on the NSW Government website: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/testing/clinics

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccination yet, please don’t delay. Even if you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you should get vaccinated.

Many people are now becoming eligible for a booster which is recommended five months after your second dose. You can book into a NSW Health vaccination clinic or another provider through the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.