Access to X-rays, scans still available for those in need

Strike action by medical imaging technologists has not prevented southern region patients in life-threatening situations from accessing X-rays or scans if they needed them, the Southern District Health Board says.

Technologists were due to return to work at 7am today after a 24-hour stopwork.

Two similar strikes were held a fortnight ago, and another day-long strike is scheduled to start at 7am tomorrow.

Services at Dunedin, Lakes and Southland hospitals have been affected by the strike action by members of the Apex health professionals union.

Technologists are in dispute with DHBs over safe staffing levels, professional development and recognition of responsibility.

SDHB surgical services and radiology general manager Janine Cochrane said plans for yesterday's strike worked well, and life-preserving services had been maintained.

"Other patients coming to emergency departments who do not have a life-threatening situation have been assessed and treated by medical staff,'' Ms Cochrane said.

"We have asked some patients to come back for an X-ray or scan, and some have been sent to private radiology for these.''

Patients caught up in tomorrow's strike would be contacted directly by the SDHB, Ms Cochrane said.


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