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Waikato DHB to reduce services during nursing strike

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Waikato DHB is preparing to close many of the services provided at Waikato Hospital and its four rural hospitals (Thames, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa and Taumarunui) due to the impact of a nationwide strike by nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants on the following date:

  • 7am Thursday 5 July to 7am Friday 6 July

DHBs are doing everything they can to settle the agreement and avoid the strike but have begun implementing contingency plans after receiving the notice to strike.

Waikato DHB hospitals will continue to operate essential services such as the Emergency Department, emergency surgery and maternity care throughout the strike, and patient safety remains the DHB’s top priority.

Some services provided by Waikato DHB will close before the date of the strike to ensure the number of patients in hospital is as low as possible, so that care can be provided safely.

“We will be able to maintain only the minimum of services during the strike and most planned surgery will be deferred and outpatient clinics will be cancelled and appointments rescheduled,” said interim chief executive Derek Wright.

“We will still provide services defined as life preserving, and this includes some essential outpatient services such as cancer treatments. We will be contacting patients directly to advise them of any changes and we ask that patients come to their scheduled appointment on time unless we have contacted them directly to say their appointment is being rescheduled.

“During the strike period, if your condition is not urgent or not severe please call Healthline (0800 611 116) or contact your GP in the first instance where possible or visit the local Accident and Medical Centre. As with any other time, if you have an emergency please don’t hesitate to call 111.

“Waikato DHB has a deep respect for our nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives. They are a highly valued part of our workforce, committed to caring for our patients. We respect their right to take industrial action and we would like to thank the public for their patience at this challenging time.”

Information for the public is available at www.waikatodhb.health.nz/strike and will be regularly updated. There will be an 0800 number activated nearer the date of the strike. You can also follow Waikato Hospital on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #WaikatoDHBstrike for regular updates.

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