Doctors take an Easter break

17:00, Apr 18 2014

Invercargill's sick will have to pay up to $100 or sit in Southland Hospital's emergency department if they want to be seen by a doctor this Easter.

All Invercargill doctor's clinics have closed for five days, starting on Good Friday and not reopening till April 23.

Recordings directing people to the After Hours Doctors' Service or to call 111 in case of emergency were heard by The Southland Times when they called every clinic listed with the Southern Primary Health Organisation yesterday.

Emergency Department acting clinical leader Dr Martin Watts said he was expecting to have busy periods over the holiday period.

"After Hours Service is open, but there is a culture to come here [the emergency department], we are certainly cheaper," he said.

Watts said there could be some quieter moments, but he expected Tuesday and Wednesday to be busy.

After Hours Doctors' Service manager Jo Morton said the clinic also expected to be busy: "We get busier as the days go on."

The service would be available by appointment between 9am and 10pm each day, but could be reached outside of these hours. 

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The Southland Times