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Resident Doctors Thank Public for Supporting Safer Hours

Media Release

New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association

13 March 2017

Resident Doctors Thank Public for Supporting Safer Hours

NZRDA members have accepted the proposal reached between the union and DHBs in response to their Safer Hours campaign.

The negotiations which started in January 2016 ended in ratification of the MECA on 10 March, 2017, with resident doctors finally getting the Safer Hours they’ve been asking for. The settlement for safer rostering is in summary:

The identified rosters (where doctors are working on duty, 24/7, caring for acutely unwell patients) must now comply with the agreed limits on hours which include:

Doctors will not be required to work more than 10 consecutive days and will be rostered a corresponding day off during the week for each weekend day worked. This will result in doctors having 4 rostered days off in a fortnight;

Doctors working on these rosters will also work no more than 4 consecutive night shifts of up to 10 hours, with stipulated recovery time after these night shifts;

A new provision will allow doctors to work back to back weekends however some rostered days off will adjoin weekends where the doctor is not working, to maximise the opportunity for meaningful time off;

The format of the rosters will be decided locally, between DHB management and the resident doctors working on that roster;

The MECA which expired in February 2016 will remain in force until February 2018.

“We’re immensely grateful to our colleagues from across all of the health sector and the public for supporting us and voicing their encouragement throughout this long journey,” says Dr Sam Holford, NZRDA National Executive member.

“As a result of this settlement doctors will be safer at work and our patients will be safer.” Says Dr Holford. “I doubt we could have achieved this outcome without the immense support members of the Association received from so many people both at work and from the communities we serve. On behalf of us all, thank you.”

Please see attached a video of the NZRDA President, Sara Moeke, thanking the public for supporting us.

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