Bay DHB prepares for impact of MRT strike action
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board prepares for impact of MRT strike action.
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is busy finalising contingency plans since it received notice of a four day strike from MRTs (medical radiation technologists who operate services such as x-rays, scans, mammography and ultra-sound) who plan to strike in support of their claims from noon on Monday 23rd May until noon on Friday 27th May.
Chief Executive Officer, Chris Clarke, says he is hopeful the nine DHBs involved could reach a negotiated settlement with the MRTs’ union and avoid any disruption to services.
“These negotiations are continuing, however in the interest of patient safety we have no option but to begin scaling down services
“The Board’s contingency plan includes postponing all elective surgery and some outpatient clinic appointments, transferring some procedures to private providers and transferring patients to other DHBs where possible. Those affected will be contacted over the coming week. We anticipate approximately 100 people are likely to have their elective surgery plans disrupted.
“There is no doubt patients are going to be inconvenienced by the strike but patient safety is our priority.
“We will continue to provide emergency services although non-urgent patients could encounter significant delays in treatment.”
Mr Clarke says the Employment Relations Act has a process for arranging emergency cover for life preserving services such as Emergency Departments and neonatal units and the DHB is doing that with the union now.
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board employs 26 medical radiation technologists.