Senior Doctors Plead For Settlement Of Dispute
“Senior Doctors Plead For Settlement Of Canterbury Dispute: Total Closure Of Services Inevitable”
“Senior doctors employed by the Canterbury District Health Board are pleading with management and the affected unions to reach a settlement of their long and bitter industrial dispute,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. The dispute has led to an unprecedented planned eight-day strike commencing on 30 January. Mediation is underway today and tomorrow.
“There is no way that senior doctors can cope with an eight-day strike. It is physically impossible. Virtually all hospital and related services will inevitably have to be closed down in the same way as the Hillmorton Hospital closure.”
“But it is unlikely that there is the capacity in Canterbury to organise a massive transfer of patients to the rest of the country and equally unlikely that the rest of the country has the capacity to take them. Senior doctors have no experience in dealing with this situation and there are no known contingency plans. Even using the armed forces as was done with prisons last year would most likely not work because of lack of specialist expertise.”
“There is no option but for management and the affected unions to reach a quick settlement in order to avoid such a disaster. They have no choice,” concluded Mr Powell.