DHBs strike contingency response going to plan
District Health Boards say contingency procedures at the country’s hospitals are going to plan for the strike by NZNO nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants that began at 7:00 am this morning.
Spokesperson Helen Mason says DHBs have been planning for a number of months and reports from around the country show hospitals are managing well.
“Emergency departments are relatively quiet and occupancy is slightly lower than expected.
“More staff and volunteers than expected have also turned up for work this morning, this level of support is very welcome and has been of great help.
“Arrangements for life preserving services are working well and the national coordination centre is monitoring the situation closely. In the Hawkes Bay where demand meant additional nurses were needed to provide Life Preserving Services, more were made available.
“I want to thank the nurses working to provide life preserving cover and to all of the other people who are working to keep our communities safe.”
Ms Mason says the focus for hospitals is safety for the rest of the day and through to 7:00 am tomorrow morning when the strike will end.
“Doctors and all other staff are working to ensure anyone who needs urgent hospital care will get it, and anyone who needs urgent medical treatment should not hesitate to go to hospital. They should dial 111 for emergencies or an ambulance.
Ms Mason says, for non-urgent matters people should do what they normally do and visit their GP or pharmacy, and free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline (phone 0800 0800 611 116).