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Message to GPs re: RMO Strike

From Dr Hugh Lees, Medical Director, Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Arrangements in place for strike by junior doctors

12 October 2016

From Dr Hugh Lees, Medical Director, Bay of Plenty District Health Board

The purpose of this email is to keep you informed about the industrial action proposed by members of the NZ Residents Doctor’s Association.

If you want to make a phone referral or have a discussion with a specialty for an admission, our usual process remains unchanged. Once a referral has been accepted then please give the patient a detailed referral letter and direct them to the appropriate area of the hospital.

Contingency planning has been underway since notice of two days of strike action by the NZ Resident Doctors’ Union was received last week. We have been carefully working through making arrangements for the 48-hour strike that will start on Tuesday 18 October at 7am, and run through until 7am on the morning of Thursday 20 October.

Our planning has been focused on ensuring Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospitals will manage without the striking junior doctors, while trying to reduce the impact on services for patients, and allowing clinical staff to focus on patients in most need.

We will be rescheduling some elective surgery and some Outpatient Department appointments. We are telling patients if they have surgery or an Outpatient Department appointment booked on 18 or 19 October, in either Tauranga or Whakatane Hospital, they will be contacted by hospital staff to inform them of the status of their appointment or surgery.

If patients are unsure about whether their appointment or surgery has been postponed they should phone 0800 333 477 between 8am and 4.30pm, to check their details.

We’ve also reminded people that the EDs are for emergencies so to go to their GP or to one of the afterhours clinics. If wanting medical advice there is HealthLine 0800 611 116 available and in an emergency call 111. Also to ensure they’re up-to-date with their prescriptions and other requirements, and if they get into difficulty, make their GP their first call.

We are very appreciative of the support and help from our senior doctors, other hospital staff and people working in health organisations across the Bay of Plenty.

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