The second day of the second strike action by resident medical officers (RMOs) at Rotorua Hospital is under way.

Lakes District Health Board communications manager Sue Wilkie said the first full day of strike action yesterday had gone relatively smoothly.

The RMOs (doctors from the first years after graduating to registrars in advanced stages of their training) began 48 hours of strike action at 8am yesterday and will finish their strike at 8am tomorrow .

In an update on the Lakes DHB website, Wilkie said most elective services and many outpatient clinics had been postponed.

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"Lakes DHB staff have contacted affected patients to let them know, and have rebooked them. Any patients uncertain of the status of their appointment can ring 0800 223 647 to check."

The 48-hour strike is the second of three. Last week the DHB received notice of a third NZ Resident Doctors' Association two-day strike planned for February 12 - 13 and contingency planning has begun for that.

About 93 RMOs are currently employed by Lakes DHB.

"Occupancy across Rotorua and Taupō Hospitals is high today, with few beds available at Rotorua and none in Taupō. The patient flow through the emergency departments is going fairly smoothly."

Acting chief executive Nick Saville-Wood said the efforts of a range of staff including senior doctors, nurses, allied health workers, hospital managers and support staff was really appreciated. He said any decisions about changes to services had been made to allow clinical staff to focus on those in most need.

In announcing the third strike senior advocate for the Resident's Doctors Association David Munro said they were "beyond frustrated".

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

"We are beyond frustrated at the fixed position of the DHBs." he said.

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Urgent cases are able to be dealt with at the Emergency Departments at Rotorua and Taupō Hospitals during the industrial action. People with minor health issues should make their GP or Lakes PrimeCare in Rotorua their first port of call. People can also
contact Healthline 0800 611 116 for 24/7 advice and information from a registered nurse.