Statement from Southern DHB, Chief Executive, Chris Fleming:
NZRDA members throughout the country, including here in the Southern district, have again voted to strike, this time for five days. While our contingency planning team is working to minimise the effect of the strike, I’m sorry to say a full work week of job action will have considerable impact on hospital health services. This is compounded by the fact the strike follows four, two-day strikes that have already taken place in recent months.
- Patients whose planned surgery or appointments are to be postponed due to the NZRDA strike will be contacted directly by phone, text or letter.
- Acute services – such as urgent surgeries, cancer treatments, renal dialysis, most maternity services, and intensive care – will continue and our emergency departments are open.
- Patient health and safety is our foremost concern and we’re working to accommodate as many planned surgeries and clinics as possible
- Specialist Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) and some Resident Medical Officers doctors will be working during the strike but unfortunately, we won’t know how many RDA members will show up to work until the strike days, and, because of this uncertainty, some electives and outpatients clinics will have to be postponed as a precaution.
We remain absolutely committed to trying to work with the other DHBs and the RDA to find a solution that will work for all parties and we welcome the announcement last week that the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has granted facilitation – though, it looks unlikely at this time that this will avert the strike.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding and I especially want to thank Southern DHB staff who are working extra hard providing care to patients and supporting one another under particularly challenging circumstances.
Because we will have reduced clinical staff during the strike, we encourage people to help us to keep ED for emergencies and seek help for non-urgent matters at your GP or pharmacist, the urgent doctors or speak to a registered nurse by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116.
For critical and life threatening emergencies, dial 111.