Ensuring Gisborne Hospital can respond to any medical emergency is the priority when Medical Imaging Specialists (MIT) strike for the fifth time this year.
“MIT are striking from 7 am on Tuesday 29 October until 7 am Saturday 2 November and again for 24 hours from 7 am on Monday 4 November 2019.”
Gisborne Hospital offers emergency, on-call radiology services at Gisborne Hospital on weekends and public holidays, says Kate Mather Clinical Care Manager for Shared Services at Hauora Tairāwhiti.
“With Labour Day in the mix, this means there will effectively be 10 days of emergency only radiology services at Gisborne Hospital - Friday 25 October to Tuesday 5 November.”
MITs are the health care professionals who carry out a wide range of x-rays and scans. “They are a vital part of the healthcare team at Hauora Tairāwhiti and this strike will affect our ability to carry out most of our services.
“As part of our contingency plans, services from TRG Imaging, which is based at Three Rivers Medical on Customhouse Street, will be used more extensively than usual. We will be working closely with our general practice partners to ensure we keep disruption to a minimum.”
“This does mean that some people who are clinically stable may have to wait longer to have their x-ray or scan, and we apologise in advance for that.”
Anyone who needs emergency care during the strike will receive it, including any x-rays or scans necessary for safe care. Hauora Tairāwhiti has an arrangement that enables staff who would otherwise be on strike, to provide emergency care if needed.
It’s important to note that sonographers who provide ultrasound scans are not affected by this strike and will continue to work as normal.
Mrs Mather stressed that anyone who needs health advice or care should continue to make their general practice team their first port of call 24/7.
“After hours you can call your own practice, even when they’re closed. Simply follow the instructions on the answerphone to be put through to a nurse who will provide free health advice and tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.
“If anyone has a minor accident they should go to the GP or Medical Centre they are enrolled with. They will assess you and then refer you to TRG Imaging for an x-ray. This will be paid for by ACC. Your GP will then ask you to come back to the Medical Centre to get treatment (like having a cast put on for example).
Or they may refer you to the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital where the doctors will look at the x-rays taken by TRG Imaging and decide what to do next. “
“Alternatively please call 0800 611 116 for advice and information from a trusted Registered Nurse. However, always call 111 in an emergency.”
“Of course, if it’s an emergency you should call 111 as per usual. We have staff available to ensure you will receive the care you need.”
“Some surgery and clinical appointments will carry on. Only people who are unlikely to need x-rays have been booked in during the strike. In the unlikely event that a person’s surgery or an appointment is changed, they will be contacted directly by phone or text.”
“I understand that these disruptions can be frustrating. We are doing all we can to minimise inconvenience and ensure that X-rays and CT scans are available for people who are at risk.