Junior doctors' strike action mid-January

Impact of strike action by RMOs at Lakes DHB hospitals

• Rotorua Hospital
• Taupo Hospital

Resident medical officers (junior doctors) who are members of the NZ Resident Doctors’ Association are going on strike for 48 hours from 7.00am Tuesday 15 January until 7.00am Thursday 17 January.

Lakes DHB employs some 93 junior doctors, with most of them being members of the RDA.

Contingency planning is well underway. As in previous times of major strike action our approach will be to:

1. Reduce the number of people in hospital where possible to ensure our senior consultants and nursing staff can focus on those in most need.

2. Cancel all elective or scheduled surgery. Around 20 patients are affected – they are all being contacted individually and rebooked as soon as possible.

3. Cancel all outpatient clinics for the two days, except some cancer or urgent fracture clinics. Around 350 patients will be affected and they are being contacted individually and rebooked as soon as possible.

Only urgent cases will be able to be dealt with at the emergency departments at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals during the 48-hour strike.

People should start planning to make sure they are up to date with their prescriptions and other requirements, and if they get into difficulty, they should make their GP their first port of call. People can also contact Healthline 0800 611 116 for advice and information from a trusted registered nurse, 24/7.

“The proposed industrial action will mean that people’s healthcare plans may be affected. Any changes to our hospital operations are considered necessary in order to make sure that the safety of our patients in need is not compromised,” said Acting Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood.

DHBs are continuing to talk to the union to try and settle these negotiations and prevent industrial action.