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Contingency plans kick in as strike commences

Contingency plans kick in as strike commences

Bay of Plenty District Health Board has kick-started its contingency plans to ensure patient and community safety during the Resident Medical Officers (or Junior Doctors) strike, which began at 0700 on Thursday 15 June.

The health board has implemented contingency plans based on all 108 RMOs (96 at Tauranga Hospital and 12 at Whakatane Hospital) striking for five days from 0700 on Thursday 15 June, to 0700 on Tuesday 20 June.

The public is urged to help ease pressure on hospital services during this difficult time by seeing their GP in the first instance for non-urgent medical care. All emergencies will still be dealt with by the hospital’s emergency departments.

The strike has impacted on non-striking staff workloads and the ability to deliver services, however, all life-preserving services are continuing to operate.

Chief Operating Officer Graham Dyer says that some elective surgery has been postponed during the strike period, and there will be a delay for non-urgent treatment at emergency departments.

“All patients in need of life-preserving services will be cared for,” he said.
Elective surgery patients affected by the strike have been notified, and their surgery will be rebooked as soon as possible after the strike.

Approximately 550 (40 in Whakatane, the remainder in Tauranga) people booked for elective surgery or outpatient appointments in the Bay of Plenty have been affected by the five-day strike.

As part of its contingency planning, the health board is working closely with Senior Medical Officers and GPs during the strike to continue to deliver essential services.

The health board is participating in national, regional and local emergency response planning, which caters for both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals.


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