District health boards have received notice from the Nurses’ Union, NZNO, that its members (most nursing and healthcare assistants) will strike in support of their claims.
When: Wednesday 9 June from 11am-7pm.
This notice affects all DHBs in New Zealand. There will be a complete withdrawal of labour by NZNO members.
Each clinical area will have life preserving cover. DHBs will develop contingency plans in order to maintain core health services, and to ensure patient safety leading up to and throughout this period. However we do expect they will need to reduce services significantly in advance and during the eight hours affected.
Emergency departments will be staffed, the numbers will be very light, and they will be focused on traumas and urgent care delivery.
Anyone with non-urgent health issues will be encouraged to call Healthline (0800 611 116) or contact their GP, visit a pharmacy or seek advice from their local urgent care.
More information expected to come, but it is likely DHBs will ask general practice to only refer patients who clearly demand immediate hospital intervention or treatment, and to discuss referrals with an ED doctor, specialist or registrar prior to making them.
Taranaki DHB is also preparing to close many of its outpatient and elective services and some services may close before the date of the strike to ensure patient numbers are low, so care can be provided safely. Patients will be contacted directly if appointments need rescheduling.