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Southland Hospital Update - Junior Doctors' Strike

MEDIA RESPONSE

Southland Hospital Update - Junior Doctors' Strike

Southland Hospital has been busy but is coping during the 48 hour junior doctors' strike, due to end at 7.00am tomorrow morning, Chief Operating Officer Leanne Samuel said today.

Mrs Samuel advised there had been no major incidents during the first day and a half of strike action.

"Our senior doctors and nursing staff are ensuring our patients are receiving the urgent care that they need and we are grateful to the public for helping us to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only by seeing their GP instead when they become ill."

"To date we are comfortable that our contingency plans are working but we are continuing to keep a close watch on the situation."

"Our focus at this time is ensuring our patients receive the urgent care that they need during the current strike action."

Mrs Samuel said that hospital staff would commence contingency planning tomorrow for the next round of strike action that has been issued by the junior doctors' union. The next strike will take place for 49 hours across 7-9 May.

Meanwhile, Dr Ian Shaw, Acting Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Director Obstetrics and Paediatrics, dismissed suggestions that regional hospitals such as Southland were on the verge of closing due to doctor shortages.

"Southland Hospital is not closing and such suggestions are absolutely unfounded," Dr Shaw said.

ENDS

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