Surgery and ap­point­ments resched­uled be­cause of doc­tors’ strike

Whanganui Chronicle - - News - Staff Re­porter

Plan­ning is well in hand at Whanganui Hos­pi­tal to cope with this week’s strike by ju­nior doc­tors.

Ju­nior or res­i­dent doc­tors will be on strike for 48 hours, from 7am on Jan­uary 15 to 7am on Jan­uary 17.

There would still be a full range of emer­gency and acute ser­vices avail­able dur­ing that time, Whanganui Dis­trict Health Board act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Walden said.

Non-ur­gent or elec­tive ser­vices may be re­stricted. Peo­ple whose surgery or ap­point­ments are af­fected will be con­tacted. Any­one who is not con­tacted should as­sume their ap­point­ment still stands.

The emer­gency depart­ment will be open as usual, but Walden would like its use to be kept for emer­gen­cies only.

Peo­ple with non-ur­gent ail­ments or in­juries should visit their GP or after-hours clinic. Any­one un­sure whether they need emer­gency depart­ment help can phone their GP or Health­line (0800 611 ad­vice from a nurse.

The strike is on be­cause me­di­a­tion be­tween ju­nior doc­tors and dis­trict health boards has failed to reach an agree­ment. The New Zealand Res­i­dent Doc­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion (NZRA), the union, says dis­trict health boards are try­ing to claw back im­por­tant pro­vi­sions in their con­tract.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we will have to resched­ule some elec­tive surgery and out­pa­tient clin­ics booked for those two days,” Walden said.

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Whanganui Hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment will be un­der pres­sure on Jan­uary 15 and 16, be­cause of strik­ing doc­tors.

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