Rotorua and Taupo hospitals are running "relatively smoothly", eight hours into a 48-hour strike by junior doctors.

Staff at both hospitals have reported no problems so far and beds are available in both hospitals.

The strike by members of the Residents Doctors' Association started at 7am today.

In a statement, the Lakes District Health Board said discharges in recent days had helped free up beds in both hospitals.


As at midday today, the occupancy across the two hospitals was at 80 per cent.

More than 50 elective procedures and a number of outpatients clinics originally planned for today and tomorrow have been rescheduled or reduced.

Contingency planner Kellie Lash said the emergency departments at both Rotorua and Taupo reported being steady.

Patients coming into the hospitals had been informed the two-day strike could result in a longer wait for services.

Ms Lash said so far people had taken the message on board and the number of people presenting at ED had been much less than on a usual Tuesday.

She said extensive contingency planning had seen a range of processes run reasonably smoothly and today's early afternoon meeting heard that no real issues have emerged today.

Just under two thirds of the 75 junior doctors currently employed by Lakes DHB are expected to take strike action. Not all junior doctors are members of the union so not all are planning to strike.

Most people whose appointments are being deferred have been contacted individually by Lakes DHB. The DHB has an 0800 number - 0800 223 647 - staffed for those people uncertain about their appointments or procedures during the strike.

Taupo Hospital does not employ junior doctors so is not greatly affected by the RDA action.