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Take charge of your health now or face long delays

3 April 2019

Hawke’s Bay DHB says five days of upcoming rolling junior doctor strikes will place significant strain on hospital resource and is urging people to take charge of their health now, or face lengthy delays for non-urgent care.

Resident Medical Officers (RMOs), or junior doctors, who are part of the New Zealand Resident Doctor Association intend to strike from 8am Monday 29 April to 8am Saturday 4 May.
Chief Medical and Dental Officer - Hospital, Dr Robin Whyman, said today the planned strikes would put Hawke’s Bay Hospital under significant strain if people treated its emergency department like an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff.

Hawke’s Bay DHB’s emergency and acute services would continue to operate throughout the junior doctor’s strike. However, some elective surgery and outpatient clinic appointments would be postponed. Those people directly affected will be contacted by the district health board and their appointments rescheduled.

“This is traditionally a very busy time for our hospital anyway so we are asking people to please help us out and be sensible about their health care needs by choosing the right care, from the right place at the right time.”

Dr Whyman urged people, and those with dependants, to manage their health in advance of the rolling strikes by updating prescriptions and seeing a doctor or nurse in general practice early if they were feeling unwell.

Leaving the emergency department for emergencies only was also key to avoid putting additional pressure on the hospital system.

“We strongly encourage people to use the hospital’s emergency department for emergencies only as priority will always be given to those with life-threatening conditions.

“If your health condition is not an emergency, then expect significant wait times as we must always prioritise those requiring emergency care first.”

People are encouraged to follow the Choose Well tips for non-urgent care:
• Make sure your prescriptions are up-to-date
• If you are feeling unwell, see your general practice (medical centre) now before you get worse!

• Call your local general practice after hours and you will automatically be transferred to a health clinic that is open.

• Pharmacists can offer free health advice over the counter.

• Call Healthline for free 24/7 on 0800 611 116 to speak with a registered nurse.

• City Medical, in Napier, is open 24/7 for anyone needing medical care
• Call 111 in an emergency.

A full list of where to find medical care, including after hours, in Hawke’s Bay is available on

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