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HB Hospital preparing for junior doctors’ strike


17 April 2008

HB Hospital preparing for junior doctors’ strike

Hawke’s Bay Hospitial Soldiers’ Memorial will be reduced to providing limited outpatient, surgical and emergency services during next week’s planned two-day national strike by junior doctors.

All District Health Boards have received notice of intended strike action from 7:00am on Tuesday 22 April until 7:00am on Thursday 24 April.

The postponement of a number outpatient clinics and non-urgent (elective) operations will allow doctors to concentrate on caring for only the most urgent patients.

Chief operating officer, Warrick Frater, said Hawke’s Bay Hospital employed 102 registrars and house surgeons. As part of its contingency planning, hospital staff and senior doctors were today finalising plans to ensure safe patient care at Hawke’s Bay Hospital. Mr Frater said the community could be confident there would be essential emergency services.

”We will maintain essential services only, including acute surgery, emergency department care, intensive care, acute medical services and maternity care.

“During the strike, people who become unwell are encouraged to see their GP or local medical clinic first, or call Healthline for 24-hour free health advice on 0800 611 116.

“However, anyone who is seriously ill should not hesitate about coming to the hospital’s emergency department or calling as ambulance,” says Mr Frater.

Letters are being sent to patients booked for non-urgent surgery and outpatient clinic appointments to let them know if they will be affected by the strike. Some medical oncology clinics and acute outpatient clinics will continue.

Patients need to be aware that services can resume at short notice.

Hawke’s Bay Hospital has set up an info line for patients: 0800 450 113. If the line is busy, callers are encouraged to leave a message and a staff member will return their call as soon as possible.


ENDS


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