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Strike shuts down elective surgery

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

23 November 2006

Strike shuts down elective surgery

The planned laboratory workers’ strike will shut down all elective surgery in public hospitals throughout New Zealand for a week, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

The planned strike, starting next Wednesday, will affect laboratory services and blood services. Hospitals are now in high-level contingency planning.

The strike will also affect most elective surgery in private hospitals, as well as outpatient clinics throughout the country.

"More than 2,000 patients will have their operations cancelled because of this strike,”says Mr Ryall.

“Unlucky patients will be notified over the next few days.

"This strike will be much worse than the junior doctors’ strike, where senior doctors were able to step into the breach.

"The Health Minister's divisive approach to industrial relations is costing thousands of patients elective surgery. We've never seen so much industrial action in hospitals as we have this year.

"It is time Health Minister Pete Hodgson moved to knock heads together to prevent even more people missing out on elective surgery,” says Mr Ryall.


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