Hospital and health services across Hawke's Bay DHB sites will be "significantly reduced" when nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants go on strike this coming Wednesday.
Strike notices were issued to all 20 district health boards last month by members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) notifying their intention to strike from 11am to 7pm.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Chris Mckenna said contingency plans were in place with only emergency and essential services continuing to ensure quality and safety of patient care during the strike action period.
"Leading into a long weekend when our hospitals can get particularly busy, we are asking people to please leave Emergency Departments for emergencies only. If it's not an emergency please visit an Accident and Medical Centre or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice from a registered nurse 24/7."
McKenna said strike impacts meant non-urgent patient appointments and elective surgeries had been rescheduled. Patients directly affected had been contacted by Hawke's Bay DHB staff.
"We know this will be extremely frustrating for many people and we apologise for the delays due to the strike but patient safety remains our number one priority."
The board earlier sought volunteers to assist during the strike.
Hawke's Bay Hospital will continue to provide essential and urgent services including the emergency department, emergency mental health, acute medical and surgical, intensive care, cancer treatments and maternity services.
Visiting hours remain unchanged.
Wairoa Hospital will provide ED services for essential and urgent cases. The inpatient ward remains open with normal visiting hours but outpatient clinics will be closed and district nursing services will close from 11am.
Central Hawke's Bay Health Centre's inpatient ward will remain open with normal visiting hours, but outpatient clinics will be closed, as will district nursing services from 11am.
General practices and most other health services across the region will not be directly affected by the strike action.
Full details about strike impacts across Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay sites are on the DHB's website www.ourhealthhb.nz. The website also contains a full list of medical centres and pharmacy opening hours.
Patients unsure about whether the strike affects them can also call 0800 248 794 for more information or help.
Where possible people should contact their general practice or urgent doctors for non-emergencies. However, in an emergency always call 111.
Bargaining between the union and district health boards continues.