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Hospitals Coping With Radiographers' Strike

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hospitals Coping With Radiographers' Strike

Auckland, Sept 4 NZPA - Christchurch radiographers have abandoned strike action following a massive earthquake in the South Island this morning.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck about 30km west of Christchurch at 4.35am today, at a depth of 10km, causing injuries, structural damage and gas leaks, cutting power, and rupturing water and sewerage mains.

Radiographers, or x-ray, image and scan specialists, were scheduled to undertake a partial strike today, but all have ensured they were at work to help with any patients needed treatment.

Radiographers walked off the job yesterday after 11th hour talks with District Health Board (DHB) representatives failed to break a contract negotiation deadlock.

Central Auckland hospitals appear to be coping with the three-day strike.

Members of the radiographers' union Apex have agreed to be available for life-preserving and limb-preserving work.

Auckland DHB spokesman Matthew Rogers said disruption had been limited.

"Since 8pm last night we have had 20 cases where union members have had to be called back in to deal with life-preserving situations," Mr Rogers said.

"We serve a big area and I understand we had a pretty standard night so it's been okay."

Elective surgery was cancelled at Auckland and Starship hospitals to try to cope with the strike.

The DHB yesterday said it was worried about how it would cope from later today when the sports and late-night injuries start coming in.

In addition, contingency plans have been put in place to deal with the 36 hour closure of southbound lanes of the nearby Newmarket Viaduct.

Bernadette Gourley, spokeswoman for the radiographers' union, Apex, said the workers had hoped the three-day strike action would not be necessary and that negotiations with the DHBs yesterday would result in a settlement, but these had been unproductive.

A nationwide strike next Tuesday is expected to affect hundreds more at hospitals throughout the country.

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