Doctors call off strike

District health boards have welcomed the cancellation of the junior doctors' strike planned for next week.

The junior doctors' union announced yesterday it had withdrawn the strike notice because of the North Canterbury earthquake.

The 48-hour strike from November 23 had been the subject of an unrelated legal challenge which was to have been heard tomorrow in the Employment Court.

The New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association national secretary Deborah Powell said her members called off the strike because of the distress and disruption caused by the earthquake.

Lead chief executive for the DHBs, Julie Patterson, said the union's ``positive'' decision cleared the way for a return to the bargaining table.

Mrs Patterson said further bargaining dates had been agreed, and the DHBs would be making no further comment.

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