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DHBs call for cool heads

District Health Boards say the planned five-day strike by some Resident Medical Officers is not necessary, uncalled for and disproportionate when there’s a process underway to find a settlement.

RMOs who are members of the Resident Doctors’ Association will strike for 5 days from Monday 29 April.

“This level of action is hard to understand,” says DHB Spokesman Dr Peter Bramley. “How can the union ask for urgent facilitation then threaten this kind of disruption? It was the RDA that asked the Employment Relations Authority to help find a solution – a move that DHBs support.

“DHBs also made an unconditional settlement offer that the RDA wouldn’t show its members. It’s an offer we believe is generous and addresses their concerns of safe care.”

Dr Bramley says hospitals worked hard during earlier industrial action to minimise the impact on patients, but 5 days raises the stakes considerably. “Managing acute care becomes a lot harder, patient services will be disrupted and RMOs’ training will be impacted.

“This level of industrial action is puzzling, especially when we know support is not universal. Between 60-65 per cent of all Registrars worked over the last strikes, as well as 35 per cent of House Officers.

“We ask the RDA and its members to pause and consider – consider afresh the offer made at mediation, consider afresh the impact on patient care, consider we already have a process in place to resolve the issues – strikes at this time are unnecessary.”

Dr Bramley says DHBs have supported the Union’s call for urgent facilitation with the Employment Relations Authority and will work in good faith towards a negotiated solution.

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