People with flu-like symptoms encouraged to call Healthline
Folks feeling the ill effects of winter are being encouraged to call Healthline for free advice. Healthline – 0800 611 116 – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones. General manager Andrea Pettett says at this time of year hospitals can be overwhelmed with people suffering from flu-like symptoms, but some could receive medical attention elsewhere. “Healthline nurses can help callers determine how serious the symptoms are, and whether they should go to the emergency department, see their GP or manage the symptoms themselves at home,’’ she says. ‘‘This can help leave hospitals free for the most serious cases.” Healthline has been fielding up to 1300 calls a day, with 15 to 20 per cent of callers from the Wellington region seeking advice about flu-like illness.