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There has to be a better way!

There has to be a better way!

Trainee Doctors are holding hospitals to ransom with unrealistic demands. Spokesperson for the country’s DHBS, Jean O’Callaghan, says DHBs have made provision to meet the doctors’ claim, but their Union has jumped the gun.

She says it takes time to coordinate 21 different employers and cost accurately what is a very complex document. We can do this, but not in the unrealistic timeframe set by the union.

Their union today issued notice of strike action that will severely affect the country’s hospitals for 6 days from the 2nd of November.

Ms O’Callaghan, says each DHB has a contingency plan and will assess how the planned strike will affect services in their areas. It’s likely all but emergency services will be suspended during the strike and hospitals will need to start the planned reduction of services leading up to the strike.

Patient safety remains our number one priority, she says. What is disappointing is that this strike notice is unnecessary and could have been avoided with just a little more time.

In the meantime, Ms O’Callaghan says DHBs are doing all they can to find a solution that will avoid the strike and are working with a mediator.

She says negotiations with the trainee doctors have broken down over flexibility in current conditions. The doctors’ union has lodged a claim for reduced hours on the same pay and is threatening to cripple the country’s hospitals until it gets what it wants.

The issues of modern patient care, safe working hours and a work life balance for trainee doctors need a coordinated and cooperative sector wide response.

Throwing more money at the problem and putting more trainee doctors on ward floors hasn’t worked in the past and is not an option for the future. Over the last five years we have seen a 27% increase in the number of trainee doctors, a 56%increase in salary costs, and the problems the doctors complain about still exist – there has to be a better way!

People don’t get sick or hurt just during normal working hours – we need the flexibility to put doctors in the places they’re needed, when they’re needed. Other health professionals accept this and work accordingly – why should trainee doctors be any different?

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