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Radiographers To Meet DHBs Ahead Of Strike

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Radiographers To Meet DHBs Ahead Of Strike

By Matthew Backhouse of NZPA

The radiographers' union is hoping to reach an agreement with District Health Boards (DHBs) in Auckland today ahead of a three-day strike planned to begin tomorrow.

The union's industrial action has already prompted the cancellation of all elective surgery at Auckland Hospital, affecting more than 500 people.

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

The radiographers' union, Apex, said it would meet the metropolitan Auckland DHBs today.

"Hopefully if they can work with us we could have an agreement, which would be great," spokeswoman Robyn Slater told NZPA.

Radiographers have agreed on two pay increases of 1 percent by October, but other issues were still on the table.

Auckland DHB spokesman Mark Fenwick said the DHBs were negotiating with the union to confirm life-preserving services during the strikes.

Such an agreement would ensure hospitals had the bare minimum in place to cope with acute and emergency cases.

"We haven't nailed it yet, we're close," Mr Fenwick told NZPA.

Elective surgery remained cancelled as Auckland Hospital tried to reduce patient numbers to cope.

"We remain very concerned about patient safety," Mr Fenwick said.

"We get 30 to 40 seriously injured people turning up at our emergency departments every weekend. We're very concerned about young children with fractures from rugby turning up and having to face extremely long delays."

The issue would be compounded by traffic congestion from the closure of the Newmarket Viaduct over the weekend, which would make it "exceedingly difficult for ambulances to get to the hospitals".

Mr Fenwick asked people to consider seeing their GP or local accident and emergency centre if possible.

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