Hauora Tairāwhiti prepares for third junior doctors' strike action

With the third junior doctors’ strike confirmed next week from 0800 Tuesday, 12 February to 0800 Thursday, 14 February, Hauora Tairāwhiti would like to reassure the public that measures are in place to ensure your safety should you require care at the hospital during the period of the strike.

  • Non-urgent services, surgery and most outpatient appointments on strike days have been postponed.
  • If there are any changes in your condition please see your GP, nurse or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Please help us keep our Emergency Department for emergencies only.
  • Always call 111 in an emergency.
  • The Gisborne Hospital emergency department, emergency surgery and maternity services will remain operational during the strike period.
  • All patients whose appointments are affected by the strike will be notified by telephone. If you haven’t been contacted, you can assume your appointment is proceeding.
  • If you are unsure whether your surgery or appointment is affected by this strike you can phone us on 0800 800 620.

Frequently asked questions:

Q.  How are you preparing for the strike?

Hauora Tairāwhiti has robust contingency management processes to ensure essential services remain available during strike action.  The contingency planning group is meeting daily and following a 14-day national contingency plan. With the reduced availability of up to 25 junior doctors, senior doctors will be doing the work of Resident Doctors.

Q. What is a Resident Medical Officer (RMO)?

An RMO is also known as a junior doctor, who is still in training. RMOs are important members of staff and perform a wide range of exams and procedures to ensure high quality patient care.

Q. Why are they going on strike?

The Resident Doctors’ collective agreement expired nearly a year ago, and the RDA union has been negotiating with national District Health Boards since then. An agreement on a variety of employment conditions has not been reached and therefore industrial action has been taken by the RDA.

Q. How many staff are affected?

Most hospital-based staff will be affected. Hauora Tairāwhiti employs 25 Resident Medical Officers, 19 of those are House Officers and 6 are Registrars.  With the reduced availability of up to 25 junior doctors, senior doctors will be doing the work of Resident Doctors. To enable them to do this some non-urgent services will be rescheduled. Other staff will be working on rescheduling appointments and actively planning to discharge inpatients.

Q. Will it be safe to come to hospital?

Yes. Meticulous planning has taken place to ensure specialist staff are available throughout the 48-hour period. Some non-urgent surgery and appointments will be rebooked to ensure there is adequate cover by Consultants.

Q. My surgery/hospital appointment is booked for that day?

If your appointment is disrupted, it will be rescheduled as soon as possible. If you have an appointment scheduled during this time and it needs to be changed, you will be notified directly - by telephone and then by letter confirming the rescheduled the change. You can phone 0800 800 620 for information.

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