Like all District Health Boards, Canterbury DHB is in the early stages of contingency planning with the focus on ensuring safe care during the 48-hour strike period, when most RDA members are expected to withdraw their services.
On Tuesday (November 8, 2016) the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) issued a strike notice, which confirmed they have directed their members to strike for 48-hours, beginning at 7am on Wednesday 23 November and ending at 7am on Friday 25 November.
It follows a 48 hour strike last month (October 18-19, 2016), which resulted in Canterbury DHB having to postpone and re-book 181 elective surgeries and procedures, and 444 outpatient appointments. Canterbury DHB employs 487 Resident Medical Officers.
David Meates, Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, says providing safe care for patients during the strike is the highest priority for people working in the Canterbury Health System.
"The DHB is prioritising essential and acute services, and so some elective surgeries and outpatient appointments are being rescheduled."
"People with appointments or surgery booked during the strike period can expect to hear from Canterbury DHB about whether they are affected or not."
The Emergency Department (ED) at Christchurch Hospital will remain open during the strike.
"We ask people to phone their General Practice team first – unless it's a life-threatening emergency. After-hours when you call your usual general practice number your call will be put through to a nurse who can provide free health advice. If you need to be seen urgently, they will tell you what to do and where to go for carearoundtheclock."
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