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Oamaru Hospital Services

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    Oamaru Hospital... providing high quality hospital and community healthcare services... close to home.



    Emergency Department

    Provides a 24 hour service, 7 days a week.

    Open to all emergencies that do not come under the umbrella of general practitioners. Once stabilisation has been achieved all major trauma are transferred to Dunedin Hospital.

    Less severe injuries may be admitted to Takaro Ward overnight for observation and transfers are made as necessary.

    Acute surgical cases, once stabilised, are transferred to Dunedin, if required.

    In some situations when a problem is not obvious and the condition does not justify immediate transfer, the patient is admitted to Takaro Ward for observation.

    Takaro Ward, Inpatient Services

    Visiting Hours: 2:00pm  to 7:00pm.

    The Ward has 21 beds and provides acute medical care, plus Assessment, Treatment & Rehabilitation (AT&R) services for the elderly and for patients transferred from Dunedin for post-operative care, including:

    8 single rooms for isolation, palliative care and terminal care 2 two-bedded units for general and paediatric patients 3 three-bedded units for general patients.

    All patient rooms have ensuites.

    Outpatient Clinic Services

    Oamaru Hospital has ten outpatient clinic rooms accommodating both publicly funded clinics and private clinics. These are provided by specialist consultants from Dunedin and Timaru who travel to Oamaru at varying intervals.

    Diabetes Education, Respiratory Education, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Stress Exercise and Wound Management clinics are provided by hospital nurses.

    A team of chemotherapy-trained nurses provide chemotherapy drugs following initial drug administration in Dunedin.

    The availability of local clinics eliminates the need for patient travel to base hospitals for outpatient treatment and care.

    Following are Outpatient clinics at Oamaru Hospital.  Please click here for frequency.

     Audiology Cardiac Rehabilitation Cataract Assessments Chemotherapy Continence Dermatology Diabetes (Endocrinology) Diabetes Education Diabetes Photography (Eye) Dietetics Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Echocardiography Fracture Clinic Gastroenterology General Surgery Geriatrics Obstetrics & Gynaecology Newborn Screening Oncology Ophthalmology Orthopaedics Paediatrics Podiatry Rheumatology Speech Language Therapy Medical Outpatients Stoma Minor Operations Psychogeriatrics Pulmonary Rehab Respiratory Education Smoking Cessation Clinic Stress Exercise Clinic Private Ophthalmology Private Audiology Private ENT Private Mole Map Private Cardiology Private Orthopaedics


    AT&R Day Hospital

    The Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (AT&R) Day Unit is designed as a continuation of inpatient rehabilitation for people over 65 years, with an age-related disability.

    When you are ready for discharge from hospital, the multidisciplinary team, in consultation with yourself, will decide about the need for further rehabilitation.

    If this is required, a referral will be sent to the coordinator of the Day Unit and you will then be contacted at your home.

    Referrals to the AT&R Day Unit can also be made by yourself, your family and friends, GP or any other health care professional.

    Community Mental Health (SDHB regional service)

    Community based service.

    Providing a wide range of counselling services, i.e. major psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug-related problems, behavioural problems.

    District Nursing

    Hours of services from 8am to 6.30pm, 7 days a week, all year except Christmas Day.

    This service is available to all people in the community within the Waitaki District. It is based at Oamaru Hospital but extends into remote rural areas as required. On receipt of a referral from any health professional, a district nurse will visit patients at home either as requested by their GP or after discharge from hospital for an assessment of their needs.

    It may include assessments for the following:

    general assessments including ACC surgical and medical follow-ups, including removal of sutures and health education administration of medications - intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous care of the terminally ill and their families wound care personal hygiene (short term, Mon to Fri only) Meals on Wheels (Mon to Fri only) domestic assistance (Mon to Fri only) short term equipment loan clients can make an appointment to have treatments done at the district nurses rooms if this is convenient.

    Non-urgent referrals are usually seen within 3 working days unless otherwise requested. Urgent referrals are assessed within 24 hours.

    Hospital Laboratory (SDHB regional service)

    Direct Dial No: 0800 101 444

    Open from 7:30am to 5:30pm.

    Home visits can be arranged.

    Southern Community Laboratory provides a 24 hour cover for Oamaru Hospital.

    Procedures carried out are: routine blood tests, cholesterol and lipid tests and specialist tests.

    Collection of specimens and delivery of results to Oamaru general practitioners are carried out three times a day.

    Maternity Services

    The Oamaru Hospital Primary Birthing Unit has two birthing rooms, three single-bedded postnatal rooms and two antenatal clinic rooms. All patient rooms have ensuite bathrooms.

    Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwives provide low-risk maternity care to women within this primary unit as well as out in the wider community. They also provide free pregnancy advice, free pregnancy testing, antenatal care, support throughout labour and birth, and postnatal care up to six weeks after birth. Advice and support on breastfeeding is also provided.

    A team of experienced nurses provide hospital postnatal care.

    For more information on the Primary Birthing Unit - Oamaru click here

    Medical Social Workers

    Social Work Services are available to assist people with health problems to access support services and look at options for themselves and their family.

    We provide:

    assistance to inpatients and their family/whanau in planning for discharge from hospital and follow up in the community information and access to appropriate support services information on rest homes and long stay hospital placement and arrangement of the required assessment assistance with grief, loss and other health-related issues information on travel and accommodation assistance unplanned pregnancy counselling.



    Mobile Surgical Bus

    The Mobile Surgical Bus, which is a specially equipped mobile operating theatre, is hosted by Oamaru Hospital on a 5-weekly interval and brings day surgery facilities to the people of Oamaru. This eliminates the need for Oamaru patients to travel to main centres to receive low risk operations. The hospital currently has a surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon and an ENT surgeon performing a range of day surgical procedures in the bus. Patients stay in the hospital's recovery area for a minimum of four hours after their procedure and a hospital nurse contacts them the day following their discharge to monitor their recovery.

    For more information about the Mobile Surgical Services please visit their website at

    Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC)

    Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) is available to people with an age-related disability. This may enable access to Disability Support Services funded by the Otago District Health Board, which include:

    domestic assistance personal care carer support respite care residential care placement (if you are considering a move, contact us and we can discuss your needs with you. This is essential for all people entering long-term hospital or rest home care).

    You may request a visit from a social worker or needs assessor. Whanau/family members, friends or other health professionals may contact us on your behalf.

    If you have any concerns about your ability to manage when you are discharged from hospital, please ask to speak to us so we can discuss the services that may be available for you.

    The department operates between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our telephone number is (03) 433-0290 ext 9063.

    Occupational Therapy

    The Occupational Therapist's (OT) role is to optimise a client's level of safety and independence within their own home. OTs assess patient needs both in hospital or at home, taking into account all factors affecting their ability to manage daily activities.

    Assessments include showering, bathing, dressing, household tasks, cognitive ability and mobility around the home. OTs also provide education to help with the patient's ability to be independent on discharge from hospital, and arrange the installation of necessary fixtures that are required in their homes to enable patients to remain independent.

    If you have a long-term disability, a home visit may be required to assess the need for housing modifications and your eligibility for funding assistance to complete these.

    You may be referred to the service either by the hospital inpatient ward, your GP or other health care professionals within the community.


    The Physiotherapy service's ultimate aim is to help people achieve their optimum recovery and return of function.

    We provide:

    inpatient treatment Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (AT&R) services for the elderly outpatient treatment including referrals from general practitioners and outpatient clinics, in particular the Orthopaedic and Fracture clinics.

    Conditions treated include respiratory, neurosurgical, musculoskeletal, orthopaedic and sports injuries.

    Home visits are available for mobility assessments, e.g. walking frames and wheelchair assessments.

    ACC patients can self-refer. Otherwise a referral letter from your GP or other health professional is required.

    Public Health (SDHB regional service)


    assessment, advice, education, health promotion and support for Child & Family Health through schools and groups in the community. Covering drugs, alcohol, sexuality and behavioural problems, as well as liaison between appropriate services health protection and follow up of notifiable diseases vision and hearing testing in the schools with clinics and also at the hospital support person in cases of child abuse and family abuse they also work within the TOPS programme, provide support for the unemployed and community groups Self referral clinics.

    Radiology (X-Ray) Department

    Direct Dial No: (03) 434-7801

    Services offered include plain film radiography, CT scanning and ultrasound. Access criteria for the services are in accordance with the Ministry of Health Elective Services Referral Guidelines for Radiology, which can be viewed through the following MOH Website:

    Referrals are received from the inpatient ward, outpatient clinic specialists, visiting specialists in private practice, general practitioners or other health practitioners approved for the purpose by the Ministry of Health. An occupational health nurse may refer specifically for asbestos screening.

    Non-urgent community referrals for plain film imaging are usually booked within 2 to 5 working days. Urgent referrals are performed upon patient presentation.

    Non-urgent community referrals for ultrasound imaging are usually booked within 6 to 8 weeks. Urgent referrals are performed in discussion with the department.

    The CT and ultrasound scanning services in Oamaru are a mix of public/private service.

    Publicly funded scanning is provided for patients referred from the Oamaru Hospital Inpatient Service and the Oamaru Hospital Emergency Department.

    Privately funded scans may be requested by private consultants, general practitioners or midwives, and may include patients covered by ACC or insurance companies. Prior approval by ACC or insurance companies may be required in some cases. For current pricing please click here.

    The department operates from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Urgent only services are provided after working hours.

    The hospital has upgraded the department to the following equipment:

    Shimadzu RadSpeed General X-ray Machine Shimadzu MobileArt Plus X-ray Machine GE Logiq E9 Ultrasound Machine Siemens Somatom Emotion 16 Slice CT Scanner CR Mini PACS

    Smoking Cessation Clinic

    Smoking Cessation Clinics are held once a week.