Statement from Chris Fleming, Chief Executive, Southern DHB:

Contingency planning based around minimising the impact of the strike on the people and communities we serve in preparation for today and tomorrow’s strike by members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA) has so far been effective and our hospitals are coping well.

Our hospitals and emergency departments are open and our staff at Dunedin, Wakari and Southland Hospitals are doing an outstanding job of focusing on urgent and acute care, and as much as possible, it is business as usual. Our Emergency Departments remain open during the strike.

While the teams are coping well, Dunedin Hospital Emergency Department is currently very busy. We’d like to remind the public to keep our emergency departments for urgent care and to see their general practitioner or after hours doctor where appropriate.

Free medical advice is also available 24/7 through Healthline on 0800 611 116. However, we’d also like to remind residents that they should seek out emergency medical help if they need it and don’t stay at home thinking the hospital is closed. If it is an emergency, call 111 immediately. We appreciate the patience and understanding of those whose care has been disrupted.