Lakes DHB Hospitals running smoothly on first day of second RMO strike
29/01/2019 4:08:57 p.m.

Tuesday 29 January 2019 1600 hours update

Lakes DHB Hospitals running smoothly on first day of second RMO strike

The first eight hours of the second strike action by resident medical officers (RMOs) at Rotorua Hospital have gone relatively well with plans in place to manage services. The RMOs (doctors from the first years after graduating to registrars in advanced stages of their training) began 48 hours of strike action at 8.00am this morning and will finish their strike at 8.00am on Thursday 31 January 2019.

Acting Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says the efforts of a range of staff including senior doctors, nurses, allied health workers, hospital managers and support staff is really appreciated.

He says any decisions about changes to services have been made to allow clinical staff to focus on those in most need. The contingency planning focuses on ensuring the continuing provision of essential emergency services including acute surgery, emergency department care, intensive care, and maternity care.

Most elective services and many outpatient clinics have been postponed, with Lakes DHB staff contacting affected patients to let them know, and rebook them. Any patients uncertain of the status of their appointment can ring 0800 223 647 to check.

This second 48-hour strike is a complete withdrawal of labour by members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (NZRDA), the union for resident medical officers. Last Friday Lakes DHB received notice of a third 48-hour strike planned for 12-13 February. Some 93 RMOs are currently employed by Lakes DHB. 

Urgent cases are able to be dealt with at the Emergency Departments at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals during the industrial action. People with minor health issues should make their GP or Lakes PrimeCare in Rotorua their first port of call. People can also contact Healthline 0800 611 116 for 24/7 advice and information from a registered nurse.

Nick Saville-Wood says the safety of patients and staff is the main focus of the contingency planning team, to ensure that those who need urgent health care over the two days of the strike will receive that care.