Contingency planning is well under way at MidCentral DHB for an intended 48-hour strike by Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) who are members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association (NZDRA).
The proposed strike is part of a national period of industrial action by RMOs and will take place from 7am on Tuesday, January 15 through to 7am on Thursday, January 17.
MDHB chief executive Kathryn Cook says planning is well under way to ensure patient safety is maintained and DHB services run as smoothly as possible, both during and directly after the strike period.
Ms Cook said: "Emergency and acute services will continue as normal and where possible, planned treatment will continue to be provided. Palmerston North Hospital's Emergency Department will be open, but we appreciate the public's goodwill and understanding that some services will be impacted during and immediately after the strike action.
"We are asking that people keep the emergency department free for emergencies. If your health condition is not an emergency there are several other options including Healthline, your general practice team and the district's after-hours centres. A full list is available under the strike section of our website www.midcentraldhb.govt.nz."
Patients who have appointments affected by the strike will be contacted directly and an alternative appointment time arranged. Unless contacted, patients who have a scheduled appointment during the strike period should still come for their appointment or surgery. Any postponed appointments will be rebooked as soon as possible.
If unsure, a freephone 0800 PNHOSP (764 677) is available for any questions and further information. Updates and further advice with regards to the location of acute clinics and treatment options is also available from the MDHB website: www.midcentraldhb.govt.nz