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Nurses, midwives and healthcare workers strike on Wednesday 9 June

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Statement from Southern DHB, Chief Executive, Chris Fleming:

It is estimated that a large proportion of the DHB’s nursing workforce are members of the NZNO, and are eligible to strike, and the strike will be severely disruptive to health services across the Southern district including the COVID-19 Immunisation Clinics. We won’t know how many NZNO members will attend work until the strike day, and therefore for contingency planning purposes we need to assume members will not be working during this period.

Patient safety is our main priority and we have been working with the NZNO to ensure that during the strike there are enough staff with the right specialist skills so essential services are provided when needed.

It is important for the public to know that our hospitals are open during the strike and we will continue to provide essential and urgent services including emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, maternity services and renal dialysis.

Patients whose planned surgery or appointment has being postponed due to the NZNO strike are being contacted directly by phone and/or letter.  We are also working to reduce inpatient numbers as much as possible before the strike.

Southern DHB staff are working tremendously hard to limit the impact of the NZNO strike on patients and their whānau and I’d like to thank them for their time and commitment.

We are very committed to trying to work with the other DHBs and the NZNO to find a solution that will work for all parties.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding at this time.

Key information

  • Non-urgent, planned surgeries/procedures and outpatient appointments will be postponed and rescheduled as a result of the strike action
  • Patients whose surgeries and procedures are being postponed will be contacted directly by phone and/or letter by Southern DHB staff
  • Hospitals will remain open during the strike and will continue to provide essential and urgent services including emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, maternity services, renal dialysis, and wards, at reduced capacity
  • Emergency services will be operating during the strike period and people should seek medical treatment or go to ED if the matter is urgent as they normally would. They can call 111 for emergencies.
  • For non-urgent inquiries, patients should contact their pharmacist, general practice, urgent doctors (03 479 2900 in Dunedin) or call Healthline (0800 611 116)
  • The strike will impact many health care services across the district, including Dunedin, Southland, Lakes District and Wakari Hospitals and all community based health services where NZNO nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants employed by SDHB are working
  • Rural hospitals in Gore, Balclutha, Oamaru, Ranfurly, and Dunstan, as well as general practices and most other health services across the district, are not directly affected by the strike action.