Medical services in Kurow are causing concern, with the regular doctor away on leave.
It is an important time of the year, where doctors are required more often than normal, with the colder weather and flu symptoms more prevalent in winter months.
Kurow Medical Centre practice manager Jules Elliot said they were in the process of trying to find a suitable on-call doctor.
“It’s tough because the number of doctors is extremely limited and most of them aren’t that willing to relocate.”
Mrs Elliot said it was a frustrating.
“We are not in too bad of a spot; we are only 40 minutes from Oamaru so were aren’t too far away from a bigger town.”
While there is a doctor shortage at the Kurow Medical Centre, many other rural areas in the region are also struggling to attract doctors.
“I have received a number of emails from other practices who are in a similar position to us, and are struggling to find a suitable doctor willing to base themselves in a rural town.
“It’s something which doctors aren’t willing to do.”
The nurses have been looking after patients at the medical centre and while this can be managed for a short period of time, it can be difficult when it’s busy or there are more serious cases.
“If people are sick and we don’t have the correct people to look after them then we just have to send them elsewhere. We don’t like doing that, but without a doctor, sometimes it’s necessary.”
By BRAYDEN LINDSAY