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DHBs: Advisory on APEX Strike Action

IMPORTANT

MEDIA ADVISORY NOTE WEDNESDAY 11 MAY

WHO IS INVOLVED

On Monday and Tuesday this week there was media coverage of the strike action threatened by Medical Radiation Technologists in nine DHBs – mainly in the North Island.

Medical Radiation Technologists, or MRTs, are involved in diagnostic services such as x-rays, CT & MRI scans, mammography and ultra sound.
Some coverage referred to radiographers. While this is technically correct, the term radiographer also covers Radiation Therapists who treat patients in procedures such as radiation cancer therapy. Radiation Therapists are not involved in these negotiations, nor are they threatening action.

IMPACT ON SERVICES

Some coverage also referred to hospital closures – this is incorrect. If the strike goes ahead, some services will be significantly affected and a four day strike will force the postponement of many services – the exact impact in each area is being assessed by the DHBs involved. They are:

Northland, Waitemata, Auckland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Whanganui, Mid Central (Palmerston North), Capital & Coast (Wellington) and Nelson-Marlborough.
Emergency cover will be provided but elective surgery and outpatient clinics will be reduced or closed before the strike date to ensure patient numbers are as low as possible if the strike goes ahead.

Contingency planning is focused on minimising any possible risk to patients and utilising all available resources. The Employment Relations Act specifies a process for arranging emergency cover with the union for life preserving services such as Emergency Departments and neo natal units, and we are doing this now.

ENDS

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