Our winter demand strategy

SA Health has a Winter Demand Management Plan in place to help ease the pressure on our metropolitan hospitals in peak winter periods.

The plan includes a number of strategies that will help to free up hospital beds and manage demand during the traditionally busy winter period.

These strategies include:

  • Transferring patients from metropolitan to peri-urban hospitals
  • Providing patients who may face a longer wait in the Emergency Department with information on General Practice (GP) clinics that are located close by to Emergency Departments
  • Temporarily postponing some non-urgent overnight elective surgery.

Transfer of patients from metropolitan to peri-urban hospitals

SA Health delivers services to patients in a range of hospitals across the public health system.

It is common practice for patients to receive part of their care in one hospital and then be moved to another service where ongoing care can be best provided.

During your hospital stay, you may be transferred to one of our peri-urban hospitals including Gawler, Mount Barker and Victor Harbor to continue your care or complete your recovery.

This will only take place following clinical assessment and discussion with you and your family. 

For more information, please refer to the transfer to another hospital Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 232KB).

To find out more about the visiting hours, services and contact details of peri-urban hospitals, visit our A-Z of country hospitals page or access the information sheets below:

Long wait care options

Emergency Departments are designed to deal with emergencies.

For minor illnesses or injury, there are a range of other care options available.

In the Emergency Department, patients are seen and treated depending on the urgency of their clinical condition, and not necessarily the order in which they arrive.

When you arrive at a public hospital Emergency Department our team will assess your condition. If your condition is assessed as less serious and non-life threatening, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room.

We understand that waiting can be frustrating and our staff do their best to keep your wait to a minimum. You are always welcome to remain in the Emergency Department to be seen, however you may prefer to seek care at a General Practice (GP) clinic.

Some of these GP clinics are open after hours and may even bulk bill so there is no additional costs.

See our contact list for Local General Practices in your area.

Temporary postponement of non-urgent overnight elective surgery for a set period

In situations of high demand, SA Health may seek to postpone non-urgent overnight elective surgery. Urgent overnight surgery and same day surgery will continue.

If your elective surgery needs to be postponed, where possible, you will be provided with a minimum 24 hours’ notice by phone.

If your elective surgery is postponed, your surgery will be rescheduled in a timely manner to ensure you receive your treatment as soon as possible.

For more information, please refer to the postponement of non-urgent elective surgery Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 64KB).

Should you need medical support during this time, please consider seeing a GP. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

For more information on care options, please visit our Emergency Departments are for Emergencies page.

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