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Southern DHB postponing surgeries/procedures and outpatient appointments due to 9 June NZNO strike

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Southern DHB has begun contacting patients to postpone many elective surgeries/ procedures and outpatient appointments in advance of the expected strike by New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) nurses, midwives and healthcare workers on Wednesday 9 June.

“Patients whose surgeries/procedures or appointments are affected will be contacted by phone and/or letter to let them know their appointment is postponed. Where possible patients will be offered a new appointment but in most cases patients will be contacted a second time with a rescheduled appointment.

“Although the majority of services impacted are currently scheduled on the 9th June, some appointments and surgeries in the days leading up to that date may also be affected and those patients will be notified as well,” says Southern DHB Executive Director Specialist Services Patrick Ng.

During the period of the strike, from 11am until 7pm on the 9th June, Dunedin, Lakes and Southland hospitals will continue to provide essential and urgent services including emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, maternity services, renal dialysis, patient retrievals, and acute wards at reduced capacity. Lakes District Hospital will provide ED services for essential and urgent cases.

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.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience that these postponements will invariably cause for patients and their whānau Staff will rebook patients as quickly as possible, but this will take time. Our priority is the health and safety of our patients - we have to reduce services to ensure that we are able to care for patients who require urgent and emergency care during the strike period,” says Mr Ng.

“I’d like to thank all our staff for their hard work in preparing for this strike and for ensuring that essential services continue to be available.”

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 general practice, urgent doctors (03 479 2900 in Dunedin) or call Healthline (0800 611 116).

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 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.