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DHBs thank staff for managing third RDA strike

District Health Boards have expressed their gratitude to hospital staff for their help in managing the impacts of the Resident Doctors’ Association’s 48-hour strike that ended this morning.
DHBs’ spokesman Dr Peter Bramley said many hospitals were full during the strikes, putting additional pressure on health care workers.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the doctors, nurses and support staff who stepped up to deliver emergency and acute services and reschedule non-urgent operations for hundreds of patients.

“The RDA’s rolling strikes are putting pressure on health workers and patients and hospitals are working hard to re-book cancelled appointments, while preparing for further strike action.”

Dr Bramley said the strikes were also impacting on the training of junior doctors. However, more than half of the junior doctors rostered for duty had opted to turn up for work as normal which was greatly appreciated.

Hospitals were now turning their attention to the next RDA strike on 26 and 27 February, which would put more unwanted strain on the health system. It’s also understood that the RDA is balloting for a fifth strike in March.

DHBs remained committed to bargaining in good faith, with mediation scheduled for this Friday, but were frustrated with the RDA’s ongoing strike action, he said.

“The issuing of strike notices in the middle of ongoing talks is inconsistent with the actions of a party that’s committed to resolving the dispute.”

Dr Bramley said DHBs would continue to insist that local clinicians and hospital managers are able to make decisions about work rosters, not the RDA head office.

“Our overarching objective remains the same – quality patient care that provides meaningful training for doctors in a safe working environment.”

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