Three hundred appointments and 121 surgeries were postponed at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals during the second junior doctors' strike.

Up to 3000 junior doctors across the country, including some from Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals, have walked off the job for the second time in a month.

The doctors, who are members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association, say they are standing firm in their fight for better pay and employment conditions.

During the first strike earlier this month, the junior doctors called on the country's district health boards to withdraw planned "clawbacks" to their conditions.


The January 15 to 17 strike saw 100 elective surgeries and 549 outpatient appointments postponed at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals.

The second 48-hour strike began yesterday and a third strike is planned to take place on February 12 and 13 unless a settlement could be reached.

In a written statement, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's contingency planning leader Neil McKelvie said 300 outpatient appointments and 121 elective procedures had to be deferred during this second 48-hour strike.

"In preparation and in the lead-up for the strike, we have also not booked appointments for the affected days. This is a lost opportunity for the communities we serve," he said.

McKelvie said the hospital was experiencing high numbers of patients attending emergency departments.

"We would actively encourage people, if their situation is not urgent, to contact their GP or pharmacist in the first instance and save ED for emergencies. "

McKelvie said some of these presentations had been due to the current heatwave.

"It is worth reminding people of the importance of staying cool and hydrated and of following the SunSmart rules of slip, slop, slap and wrap," he said.


There are 192 junior doctors employed by the Bay of Plenty DHB. Not all are association members.

NZ Resident Doctors' Association senior advocate David Munro says members were committed to fight on for a
NZ Resident Doctors' Association senior advocate David Munro says members were committed to fight on for a "fair deal". Photo / Supplied

David Munro, senior advocate for the NZ Resident Doctors' Association, said the district health boards' decision not to abandon their "planned clawbacks" at the last mediation talks on January 24 had only strengthened members' resolve to fight on.

"The resident doctors are committed and unwavering in their ongoing battle for a fair deal. They will continue to take strike action in defence of their collective agreement."

Prior to the previous strike, Dr Peter Bramley, a spokesman for the DHBs, said they were trying to negotiate an agreement that enabled clinicians and hospital managers to make decisions about work rosters for junior doctors that delivered "better care and better training opportunities".

Bramley said the DHBs were committed to being good employers and would not subject junior doctors to disruptive or dangerous work conditions and the DHBs' offer would maintain safe working rosters.