BENDIGO Community Health Service (BCHS) has called for understanding from the community as COVID and influenza numbers continue to rise across the region.
Last week Bendigo Health called on the community to take personal responsibility as the city recorded the unenviable highest rate of active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in Victoria.
BCHS said the healthcare system was under pressure as workers worked to meet increased demand while battling a reduced workforce.
"We empathise with our Bendigo Health colleagues and understand the pressure they are under in our hospital's emergency department," BCHS chief executive Gerard José said.
"We know there are many in our community who are unwell and unable to access on-the-day appointments to see their GP.
"Added to that, is the impact of Covid-19 and influenza on our workforces - which means we often have to cancel appointments for patients if our staff or their families are unwell.
"The entire healthcare system is under pressure.
Bendigo Primary Care (BPCC) acting general manager Callum Wright said the centre had the capacity to field 350 calls per day.
"Routinely we are now finding we are receiving in excess of 900 phone calls per day, many looking for one of about 50 on-the-day appointments," he said.
Mr Wright said patients were becoming frustrated at the stretched services.
BCHS and BPCC are calling for understanding from the community, and asking them to respect those working at all medical clinics across the city to respond to calls.
They're also reminding people to continue to do all they can to limit the spread of Covid-19 and influenza - including wearing face masks, physical distancing and staying up-to-date with vaccinations.
It is also advised to plan ahead to renew scripts, or make appointments in advance to see a GP for routine or regular consults.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.