Significant disruption expected from ongoing strike action by MITs
24/10/2019 10:42:12 a.m.

Thursday 24 October 2019

Significant disruption expected from ongoing strike action by MITs

Lakes DHB is expecting to experience significant disruption from further strike action planned by Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs) at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals, who are members of the APEX union.

Two more 24-hour strikes are planned for Wednesday 30 October and Friday 1 November, involving a complete withdrawal of radiology services.

However, immediately after Labour Weekend the APEX union is currently planning additional partial industrial action, or working to specific conditions, on three separate days. Specific conditions means during these periods, radiology services will be available but there will be significant delays for people needing imaging (x-rays, CT MRIs etc).

If all the proposed industrial period beginning after Labour Weekend proceeds there will be over a week of action. This will result in widespread disruption of radiology services, and as part of the contingency plans alterations to some elective surgery and outpatient clinics have already been made.

Those patients affected by changes in their procedures or clinics will be contacted by Lakes DHB staff.

This next period of industrial action follows a number of 24-hour strikes in recent months by MITs, and will be the fifth and the longest period of strike action by MITs this year.

On the days where MITs are working to specific conditions there will be delays in the emergency departments and in the radiology department for people needing imaging.

Lakes DHB is asking people to keep EDs for emergencies and to see their GP or Lakes PrimeCare if they have minor health issue.

Contingency planning to ensure the safety of patients and that those patients who need imaging get it, is ongoing.

Private radiology providers have been asked to help, and part of the contingency planning involves transportation for those patients who may need to be moved from Rotorua and Taupo hospitals to the private providers, for imaging.

The APEX union covers staff who provide imaging for general radiography, portable theatre, CT, MRI and Fluoroscopy, where a continuous x-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined, so that the body part and its motion can be seen in details.

Lakes DHB normally has approximately 20 MITs working each day across the two hospitals. Nearly all MITs are union members so most are expected to be involved in the industrial action.

Ultrasound staff are covered by a separate multi employee collective agreement so ultrasound services will be available.