Lakes DHB Hospitals coping in early hours of strike actions
12/02/2019 11:53:29 a.m.

Tuesday 12 February 2019 11.30am update

Lakes DHB Hospitals coping in early hours of strike actions


Plans are in place to provide essential emergency services during the third strike action by resident medical officers (RMOs) at Rotorua Hospital. 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, Tuesday 12 February until 8.00am on Thursday 14 February 2019.

Additionally midwives who are members of MERAS are also striking today for 12 hours until 9.01pm tonight at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals.

The emergency departments at both Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals have been very busy in recent days, and the rate of hospital occupancy is higher than the contingency planners would prefer, at this early stage of the two day strike.

Acting Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says the planning and support 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. 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 third strike involves a complete withdrawal of labour by members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (NZRDA), the union for resident medical officers. Yesterday Lakes DHB received notice of a fourth planned strike for 26-28 February. About 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 should ensure they are up to date with their prescriptions and other requirements, and if they get into difficulty they should make their GP or Lakes PrimeCare their first port of call.

People can also contact Healthline 0800 611 116 for 24/7 advice and information from a registered nurse.