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Strike Action Forces Elective Surgery Cancellations

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Strike Action Forces Elective Surgery Cancellations

Waikato DHB will postpone some surgical bookings to cope with next Tuesday's nationwide strike by union staff who provide x-ray, scans and other radiology services.

The strike affects all Waikato DHB hospitals including Waikato, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.

Waikato DHB will this week contact those people likely to be affected.

The strike is from 7.30am Tuesday (September 7) to 7.30am Wednesday (September 8).

Waikato DHB's planning this week with clinical staff focuses on keeping the impact on patients as minimal as possible.

The strike action will also affect emergency department services. People attending hospital emergency departments next Tuesday (September 7) will only be able to access x-ray and scan services in severe or life-preserving situations, said chief medical advisor Dr Tom Watson.

"Next Tuesday, if you think you've broken something but are otherwise alright you will need to go to an accident and emergency clinic in Hamilton or to your family doctor rather than the hospital's emergency department," said Dr Watson.

The strike is part of industrial action that has affected radiology services at all district health boards from late July.

Waikato, Thames and Tokoroa hospitals are affected by ongoing work-to-rule and total withdrawal of after-hours radiology labour.

To date Waikato Hospital has avoided major service disruption by careful planning and the cooperation of general practitioners and private radiology services.

The 24-hour strike action next Tuesday means unavoidable impacts on patient services including cancellation of some patients booked for non-urgent surgery.

Waikato Hospital's cardiac surgery bookings have been cancelled from mid-week.

"There is no way we can safely provide normal surgical services without x-ray and CT scanning available," said Dr Watson.

Those taking action include medical radiation technologists, cardiology radiographers, sonographers and other similar roles who are members of the APEX union.

Main accident and emergency clinics in the Waikato: 24-hour: Anglesea Accident and Emergency Medical Clinic, cnr Anglesea and Thackery Sts, Hamilton 8am - 10pm: Victoria Central Accident and Medical, 750 Victoria Street, Hamilton

There are a number of other accident and medical clinics open during normal working hours on Tuesday - please check in the green section at the front of the white pages telephone directory.

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