Southern DHB and all DHBs across the country have received notice from the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association (NZRDA) union that its members plan to strike for 48 hours from 7am Tuesday 15 January until 7am Thursday 17 January.

The strike will impact many health care services across the district, and though mediation talks are underway in the hopes of averting a strike, we continue to contingency plan for a possible strike.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Patient safety is our priority

• Patients whose surgeries and procedures are being postponed will be contacted directly by phone, text or letter by Southern DHB staff

• Hospitals remain open during the strike and will continue to provide essential and urgent services including emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, cancer treatments, maternity services, renal dialysis

• Patients should still come to their scheduled appointment or surgery on those days UNLESS we have contacted them directly to say their appointment is being rescheduled

• During the strike period if you or a whānau member have a condition that is not urgent or severe, please contact your GP

• If it is an emergency, call 111 immediately

• Free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline, phone 0800 611 116.