Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is prepared for the third junior doctor strike, which will also coincide with a 12 hour midwifery strike, next week at Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa Hospitals.
Resident Medical Officers (RMOs), or junior doctors, who are part of the New Zealand Resident Doctor Association intend to strike for 48 hours from 8am on Tuesday, 12 February until 8am on Thursday, 14 February, while midwives who are members of Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) have planned a 12-hour strike, from 9.01am to 9.01pm, on Wednesday, 13 February.
Life preserving agreements with both unions have been agreed and are in place.
Chief Medical and Dental Officer John Gommans said emergency and acute services would operate as normal, however some elective surgery and outpatient clinic appointments would be postponed. Those people affected have already been contacted by the district health board and their appointments would be rescheduled.
“We are asking people to help us and to leave the Emergency Department for emergencies. If your health condition is not an emergency, we ask people to please see their family doctor, after hours medical centre or call Healthline 0800 611 116,” Dr Gommans said.
Dr Gommans also reminded people that City Medical, in Napier, is open 24/7 for anyone needing medical care
A full list of where to find medical care, including after hours, in Hawke’s Bay is available on www.ourhealthhb.nz
Dr Gommans said women preparing for childbirth should not delay seeking advice and care and should come to any scheduled appointments, unless they have been contacted beforehand to have it postponed.
“If you go into labour during the strike, follow your normal birth plan and let your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) know as you will have already planned,” he said
Dr Gommans apologised to anyone affected by the strike action and thanked the public for their patience and support during this time.
“I would also like to thank our staff who have worked extremely hard preparing for strike action. Our priority is to maintain a safe hospital. Our staff have been incredibly flexible and supportive as we have worked through the past weeks of industrial action.”
Anyone wanting further information should contact the district health board 06 8788109.