Hospital poised for junior doctors' strike

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PREPARED: The DHB says Hawke's Bay Hospital is prepared for next week's strike. PHOTO FILE
PREPARED: The DHB says Hawke's Bay Hospital is prepared for next week's strike. PHOTO FILE

A spokesperson for Hawke's Bay Hospital says it's prepared for next week's junior doctors' strike

Contingency planning is in place to ensure emergency and urgent care services are available at the hospital during next week's planned two-day national strike by junior doctors.

Elective surgery and many outpatient clinics will be postponed and rescheduled leading up to, during and following the expected 48 hour strike from 7am Tuesday until 7am Thursday, October 20.

Chief operating officer Sharon Mason said the hospital employed 131 registrars and house officers and about 85 of those were union members.

Essential services such as emergency surgery, Emergency Department care, Intensive Care, and maternity care will all be maintained during the strike.

"We do ask the public to help us by leaving the Emergency Department for emergencies. People can also help us by making sure they have prescriptions up to date and refilled and getting medical help early from their GP so they don't get so sick they need hospital care," Mrs Mason said.

Patients with non-urgent operations or arranged outpatient clinic appointments affected by the strike will get a phone call or a letter. People need to be aware that the strike may be called off at short notice, in which case they will be contacted to reschedule their operation or appointment.

An information helpline 0800 450 113 has been set up to answer questions from people uncertain about whether their appointment is affected. If the line is busy, callers are encouraged to leave a message and a staff member will return the call as soon as possible.

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