Doctors Vote Unanimously For National Ballot
“Senior Doctors Vote Unanimously To Support National Ballot On Limited Industrial Action; Unprecedented”
Senior doctors’ representatives have this morning voted unanimously to support holding an unprecedented national ballot on limited industrial action“,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on this decision made today at the Association’s Annual Conference which was attended by over 100 delegates from all over New Zealand. The ballot will be postal and will commence later this month. Should the ballot vote in favour of industrial action, it will not be held until next year.
“This unprecedented situation is in response to the protracted impasse in our national collective agreement negotiations which commenced in May 2006. It also follows mass national stopwork meetings held in July-August which overwhelmingly voted to reject the DHBs’ position in the negotiations and to support a national ballot on limited industrial action should the impasse continue.”
“New Zealand has a serious medical workforce crisis that threatens patient services and patient safety. We are losing on average one senior doctor a week to Australia, losing our trainee specialists to Australia, and losing senior doctors to the private sector. Many health services are being maintained by senior doctors working excessive hours.”
“Unfortunately the lack of leadership in district health boards has led to us having to negotiate with ostriches with their head in the sand. They are in a permanent state of denial over this crisis.”
“The recommended industrial action will not affect emergency and acute services and not put patient safety at risk,” concluded Mr Powell.