A website has been set up for people to send messages of solidarity to health workers in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the aftermath of the earthquake last month.

The devastation and loss of life caused by the earthquake on 22 February 2011 fundamentally affected the healthcare services and facilities.

New Zealand Post has set up a website, www.amos.org.nz, where people can post messages of solidarity and support to the health workers in Christchurch. The website has been designed for other groups such as the fire service and the police as well.

On the website, select “Health Services” from the drop down box on the left hand side of the screen. Choose a specific group to direct messages to, such as “Primary Care/Medical centres” or “Hospital” or “Emergency Department”.

The leadership of the Canterbury health system is hoping to transfer the international messages of support onto the walls of the reconstructed health facilities as a permanent reminder.

When the earthquake hit, the general practice team based in the CTV centre was crushed, killing staff and patients instantly. Another seven GP practices were destroyed.

Despite the main hospital being built to high earthquake standards, the top two floors became unusable due to water damage and the hospital capacity dropped from 500 to 300 beds.

300 people who were resident in care homes had to be quickly evacuated to other towns across New Zealand.

More than a third of the health workforce of Christchurch lost their homes or suffered severe damaged to their property but, almost without exception, they carried on working putting their patients first. Many of them didn’t know until many hours later that their own families were safe.

The healthcare community in Christchurch is unique. Canterbury District Health Board, which provides services to the people of Christchurch, runs one of the most forward thinking, people-centred health communities in the world. The Canterbury DHB system-wide approach to innovation and improvement is due to be showcased at the International Healthcare Forum for Quality and Safety in Amsterdam next month.

Anybody from the health sector or outside of it is encouraged to visit the website to leave a message of support for those still working in Christchurch to bring stability to the community, and begin the long process of rebuilding the healthcare services and systems devastated by the earthquake.

Visit www.amos.org.nz to lend your support.