Whanganui DHB planning for second RMO strike well in hand


25 January 2019

Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) contingency planning for planned strike action is well in hand and ongoing to ensure patients receive a full range of emergency and acute services, plus as many elective services as can be safely provided, during the 48-hour period that resident medical officers (RMOs) plan to withdraw their services next week.

Members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) plan to strike a second time from 8am Tuesday 29 January to 8am Thursday 31 January.

WDHB chief executive Russell Simpson says while it is disappointing that some RMOs have chosen to take strike action, he wants to assure the community that planning is well underway to safely minimise the level of disruption felt by patients and the public.

"Whanganui Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will be open for 'business as usual' for emergencies but unfortunately, for the second time in quick succession, we will need to reschedule some elective surgery and Outpatient clinics booked for those two days," Mr Simpson says.

“We will be doing everything we can to make sure the patients impacted due to the first strike are not impacted a second time. As with the 15-17 January strike, any patients with a planned surgery, procedure or outpatient appointment booked for the days of the strike will be contacted as soon as possible, if it needs to be rearranged,” Mr Simpson says.

"Patient safety is always foremost in our minds so all decisions regarding rescheduling of appointments and surgery will be made with this in mind.”

Patients should still come to their scheduled appointment or surgery on those days UNLESS we have contacted them directly to say their appointment is being rescheduled.

People with non-urgent ailments or injuries should visit their GP or after hours clinic in the first instance. Anyone unsure about whether they need ED care should contact their GP or call Healthline (0800 611 116) for free advice from a registered nurse.