Junior doctors at Hawke's Bay Hospital say they are striking for workers' rights, not pay.

"The core issues behind the strike are rostering and the ability for our unions to have an input into the rosters that we do work," Hawke's Bay District Health Board-employed second-year house officer Dr Alex Hedley said.

He is among 3300 other DHB-employed Resident Medical Officers around the country who entered their second day of industrial action on Wednesday.

The first of two strikes this month, began at 7am today and will end at 7am on Thursday.


"The hours are long, the work is rewarding," Hedley says. "Striking isn't something that we want to do, but we also want to maintain our terms and conditions in our contract."

HBDHB chief medical and dental officer Dr John Gommans said the contingency plans it had put in place were working well, as of Tuesday afternoon.

He said the hospital was in "green status", meaning they were doing well in terms of bed numbers and staffing.

"There have been significant changes, obviously we tried to switch to as many day-case operations as we could, with people who didn't need to stay in hospital, but some surgeries that couldn't be delayed have gone ahead."

Despite the strike action, some RMOs covered by a non-striking union are at work, while some members of the Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) have chosen to work, despite being members of the striking union.

Dr Gommans wanted to again stress to the public to help its emergency department out by first contacting their family doctor if the matter was non-urgent.