Whanganui DHB's plans for nurses' strike action well advanced


28 June 2018

Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) contingency planning for a 24-hour nurses’ strike, starting 7am on Thursday 5 July, is well advanced says WDHB Allied Health director Kim Fry.

"Teams from across our DHB are working hard to ensure emergency and essential services are available if the strike goes ahead," Ms Fry says.

"To reduce demand on our services, some non-urgent (elective) surgery will not be performed prior to, and on the day, of the strike. Those patients affected will be advised.

“Patient safety is our number one priority. We are liaising with external providers to provide additional support. It’s important to note that Allied Health including Radiology (x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and sonography) and mobile dental units will be working as normal.

"Our intention is to have as few patients in our hospital as possible on the day of the strike so we can care for patients safely. Whanganui Hospital will remain open, and those needing hospital care will receive it. We are advising people not to come to the Emergency Department (ED) unless they are acutely unwell."

Ms Fry says WDHB will provide regular updates on its website and Facebook page. People with non-urgent health issues are urged to do what they would normally do - call Healthline (0800 611 116), visit a pharmacy or contact their GP. In an emergency they should dial 111 for an ambulance.

Anyone who has a concern relating to how Whanganui DHB is planning for the strike or how this might impact on them is invited to call 0800 113 887 between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, DHBs’ national spokesperson Helen Mason says DHBs are concentrating on implementing contingency plans to ensure all emergency and essential services are available if the strike goes ahead.

“Right now, all our efforts are going into ensuring we can keep everyone safe – patients and staff alike – and that means significant changes to normal services,” Mrs Mason says.

Mrs Mason reiterated that in the event of a strike, people should not delay seeking medical treatment and go to hospital if the matter is urgent.

  • Whanganui DHB employs approximately 560 nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants – about 84 percent of them are members of the NZNO Union.