AMID ongoing rumours of overcrowding, mismanagement and lack of resources, the Northdale Hospital has urged the public to co-operate with the hospital in order to reduce the overcrowding that the hospital has become synonymous with over the years.The out-patient department has become overwhelmed with high numbers of patients every month which is alarming and overwhelming for the hospital given that it is a referral hospital. As of April 1 the hospital Chief Executive Officer Mrs B.C. Maphanga has requested that those who are not going through life-threatening emergencies first seek help from a doctor at the clinic or from a Primary Health Care (PHC) trained nurse at the clinic. “We receive a high number of patients who are supposed to be managed at PHC level which leads the facility to overstretch its already limited resources. “This results in long queues and long waiting times, which ultimately has a negative effect on the experience of clients at the hospital,” said Maphanga.The hospital has called on all community members to assist with their plan.“We would like patients to keep in-line with principles of the PHC.It clearly spells out that patients should be seen at PHC level before they come to a district hospital,” said Maphanga.The Northdale Hospital is categorised as a district hospital under uMgungundlovu district municipality and services almost all community members.This includes the northern suburb of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. “This results in long queues and long waiting times, which ultimately has a negative effect on the experience of clients at the hospital,” said Maphanga. The hospital has called on all community members to assist with their plan..