Contingency plan for Medical Imaging Technologists strike
4 October 2019
Southern District Health Board contingency planning for Medical Imaging Technologists strike action
Southern District Health Board has received strike notice from APEX, the union representing Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs), who are proposing to strike from 7am on Monday 14 October 2019 to 7am on Tuesday 15 October 2019 and 7 am Wednesday 16 October 2019 to 7 am Thursday 17 October 2019.
Medical Imaging Technologists are qualified healthcare professionals who produce medical images of the body, using radiation, ultrasound or magnetic fields, to help clinicians diagnose and treat illness and injury.
Southern DHB has 53 MITs employed at Dunedin Hospital, 28 at Southland Hospital and 8 at Lakes District Hospital. Of these, all are members of APEX.
The strike will involve a full withdrawal of labour and will affect all services provided by MITs (except ultrasound) at Dunedin Hospital, Southland Hospital, Lakes District Hospital, and all community based health services where MITs employed by SDHB are working. This includes Dunedin Urgent Doctors.
Breast screening mammography provided by BreastScreen Otago Southland will continue as usual.
The DHB is contingency planning to minimise the impact of the strike on the communities and patients it serves and to safely sustain as many services as possible during the union’s proposed strike.
If the strike goes ahead, some planned (elective) procedures and outpatient appointments may be postponed. Patients will be contacted directly if their appointments or clinics are postponed.
Anyone with a life threatening situation will have access to the X-ray or scan they need. Patients coming to Emergency Departments who do not have a life threatening situation will be assessed and treated by medical staff but may be required to come back at a later date to have a scan or be sent to a private radiology service for their X-ray or scan.
“MITs are a vital part of our SDHB’s health care team and a strike of this nature will significantly impact on our ability to carry out our normal services for our community.
“While we hope this strike can be averted, we still need to make plans for it, and these are underway. Our main focus is on maintaining safe care for patients during the strike period,” says Southern DHB Chief Executive, Chris Fleming.