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Strike action will delay X-rays and scans

Patients needing x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and angiograms can expect delays across Hawke’s Bay DHB locations, next week, due to Medical Imaging Technicians (MITs) going on strike.

Strike notices were issued to 19 out of 20 district health boards by The Association of Professional and Executive Employees union (APEX) advising Medical Imaging Technicians (radiographers) will strike for 24 hour periods on Monday 30 September and Wednesday 2 October from 0700 until 0700 the following day.

Hawke’s Bay DHB MITs, who work at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, Napier Health, Wairoa Hospital and Central Hawke’s Bay Health Centre, are all members of the union.

Chief Medical and Dental Officer Dr Robin Whyman said contingency planning was in place, including a Life Preserving Service agreement with the union. However, people requiring non-urgent x-rays and scans would be deferred.

“Radiology services will be only be available for emergency cases that are life or limb preserving during the strike periods.

“The strikes will cause a backlog of patients needing X-rays and scans, which will also impact on hospital services on the days following the strikes.”

Dr Whyman said it was important people left ED for emergencies only.

“If it’s not an emergency please visit an Accident and Medical Centre, see your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice from a registered nurse 24/7.”

Dr Whyman said the DHB would be outsourcing some routine X-rays and scans to other radiology providers in the district, where it could, to limit patient delays.

Patients affected by the strikes had already been contacted by the DHB and rescheduled, he said.

“We know this will be extremely frustrating for many people and we apologise for the delays because of the strikes.”

Ultrasound testing was not affected by the strike, meaning pre-booked ultrasound outpatient appointments across DHB services would run as normal.

All services will resume from 7am following each day of the strikes.

Anyone booked for a DHB imaging appointment and unsure whether the strikes affect them or not, can call the hospital’s radiology department on (06)878-8109 Ext: 2500

Bargaining between the union and district health boards continues.

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