Junior doctors’ strike proceeding this week

Despite discussions between the DHBs and the NZ Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA) over safer hours for resident doctors progressing last week, the strike will likely proceed from tomorrow. Photo portugalresident.com

Counties Manukau District Health Board said it has full contingency plans in place ahead of the expected industrial action by resident doctors at a Middlemore Hospital from 7am tomorrow until 8am on Friday.

“Our priority is supporting patient safety through this period,” the DHB said in a statement.

It confirmed that more than 600 patients, across a range of services, are expected to have their non-urgent clinic or elective surgery rescheduled as a result of the industrial action.

“These patients should have now received communication from us by letter, text or phone call,” the statement said.

“A large number of our health services are unaffected. ”

The DHB is also contacting people whose appointments are not affected by the strike to reconfirm their appointments will go ahead.

Patients who are uncertain if they are affected, can call the hospital’s toll free number 0800 277 1661.

Despite discussions between the DHBs and the NZ Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA) over safer hours for resident doctors progressing last week, the strike will likely proceed.

“The employers’ team who attended bargaining (last) week were unable to make an agreement or table an offer.  They have to (once again) report back to the CEOs for further instruction.” said Dr Deborah Powell, national secretary of NZRDA.

The DHBs have persisted with a process whereby the CEOs send people to the table to represent them, but without the ability to make agreements, Dr Powelll said.

“This has previously resulted in what looks like a possible settlement at the table being rejected by the CEOs, a step backwards in bargaining, and prolonging of the dispute.

The CEOs were not able to make themsleves available to discuss more recent discussions until the end of this week, she said.

“In the absence of an offer from the DHBs…the strike appears set to go ahead whilst we wait on the CEOs to make a decision.” Dr Powell said.