Junior doctors to picket

Junior doctors will picket outside Dunedin Hospital this morning, as a second 48-hour strike by members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association union begins.

All southern hospitals and most community-based health services will be affected by the strike, the second this month.

Mediation failed last week and notice of a third doctors' strike - on February 12 and 13 - has been lodged.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said hospitals, including emergency departments, would remain open during the strike and would continue to provide essential and urgent services.

Enough doctors were working so some scheduled procedures would still be carried out so patients should keep their scheduled appointments unless they had been contacted directly by the SDHB, Mr Fleming said.

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