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Safety first during strike

8 November 2006

Bay of Plenty District Health Board to put safety first during strike

Bay of Plenty District Health Board has contingency plans in place to ensure patient and community safety during the Medical Radiation Technologists (MRT) strike planned to start on Friday 10 November.

The health board has contingency plans based on all 32 MRTs (22 at Tauranga Hospital and 10 at Whakatane Hospital) striking for ten days from 1600 on Friday 10 Novemberto 0700 on Tuesday 14 November and 0701 on Tuesday 14 November to 0700 on Monday 20 November.

The strike will impact the ability to deliver services, however, all life-preserving services will continue to operate.

Chief Operating Officer Graham Dyer says that an MRT strike is serious,. and its impact will be far reaching due to the range of services that rely on radiology for diagnosis.

“Emergency cover will be provided although elective surgery will be amended before the strike date to ensure patients likely to require radiological investigation are minimised as much as possible.”

“All patients in need of life-preserving services will be cared for,” he said.

“Contingency planning is focused on minimising any possible risk to patients and utilising all available resources. The Employment Relations Act specifies a process for arranging emergency cover with the union for life preserving services such as emergency departments and neo natal units, and we are currently negotiating this.”

The public is urged to help ease pressure on hospital services during this difficult time by visiting an Accident and Medical centre in the first instance for non-urgent medical care that may require radiology such as a broken arm. All emergencies will still be dealt with by the hospital’s emergency departments.

Elective surgery patients affected by the strike will be notified and put on standby in anticipation of the strike, and, if cancelled, surgery will be rebooked as soon as possible after the strike.

ENDS


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