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Contingency planning for strike action advanced

20 November 2006

Contingency planning for strike action well advanced

Contingency planning at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) is well underway to ensure minimum risk to patients and maintenance of urgent and acute care during the planned strike action by members of the Medical Laboratory Workers’ Union (MLWU). MLWU members include laboratory scientists and technicians employed by District Health Boards and the New Zealand Blood Service.

Negotiations are continuing between the negotiating team and the MLWU in an attempt to avert next week’s planned seven day strike action due to start 8.00am Wednesday 29 November.

Says HBDHB’s chief operating officer, Warrick Frater “This action will significantly affect the laboratory services we can provide. In the interest of patient safety we are implementing our contingency plans to scale back the number of patients in the hospital prior to and during the planned strike period.”

The DHB is postponing elective surgery and any outpatient clinics and procedures which require laboratory tests at the hospital. A key consideration is being able to manage the blood product supplies for the duration of the strike. Essential hospital services will be running to ensure acutely unwell people receive the treatment they need.

Says Mr Frater, “As we implement our planned contingency programme our focus is on ensuring maximum patient safety. “

ENDS

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