Doctors want status quo restored
A junior doctor at Timaru Hospital says a two-day national strike by New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) members will benefit the community and medical staff in the long term.
Dr James Strickland will join about 3000 of his colleagues nationwide on the 48-hour strike from 7am today after talks between his union and District Health Boards (DHBs) broke down.
He said the RDA was looking to restore what was best for all role players in the industry, especially delivery of quality service to its patients.
‘‘We are only asking for what he had before.
‘‘By increasing the hours worked, it affects the quality of care,’’ Strickland said referring to the claim that Resident Medical Officers were required to work up to 16 hours in a single shift.
‘‘The DHBs’ pull back is like having the carpet pulled from under us.’’
He said about half the junior doctors at the hospital will take part in the industrial action, but the numbers were not sufficient for a picket.
Meanwhile, the South Canterbury District Health Board is working to ensure it continues to provide safe care during the strike period.
‘‘Our priority, as always, is safe and appropriate care for patients,’’ chief executive Nigel Trainor said.
‘‘We have contingency plans in place to ensure emergency and essential services are available to those who need them.’’