By 3 News online staff
Auckland City Hospital has had to postpone some elective procedures today because it's packed with patients with winter-related illnesses.
The hospital says its emergency department has had a "sustained period" of high numbers of people seeking treatment and bed capacity is at the upper limits.
Some patients have been admitted with the flu, while others such as elderly have long-term illnesses made worse by winter conditions.
Five out of about 50 scheduled elective procedures have been postponed, and the hospital warned it may need to cancel more procedures in coming days if the pressure from winter illness patients did not let up.
Chief medical officer Dr Margaret Wilsher said the hospital regretted it had to cancel some procedures today.
"Our message is for people to have patience. We want to ensure that every person who requires it receives good quality care and treatment.
"I particularly want to thank our doctors, nurses and clinical professionals who have really stepped up to deliver great care to our patients."
Although the hospital increased bed capacity during winter, with an average of 635 beds, it was almost full, the hospital said.
Dr Wilsher said people with less serious illnesses should try going to a GP, calling Healthline or visiting one of the local accident and emergency clinics.
She reminded people the emergency department "is for emergencies".
Healthline nurses can assess patients over the phone. Call them free on a landline or mobile 0800 611 116.