SDHB postpones some appointments ahead of nurses' strike

The Southern DHB recorded the highest levels of overall burnout. File photo
Dunedin Hospital. File photo
The Southern District Health Board will be postponing many elective surgeries and outpatient appointments in the lead up to an expected nurses strike next week.

The SDHB said it had already begun contacting patients before New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) nurses, midwives and healthcare workers planned to strike on June 9.

SDHB executive director specialist services Patrick Ng said affected patients were being contacted by phone and/or letter to inform them of the postponements.

"Where possible patients will be offered a new appointment but in most cases patients will be contacted a second time with a rescheduled appointment.

"Although the majority of services impacted are currently scheduled on the 9th June, some appointments and surgeries in the days leading up to that date may also be affected and those patients will be notified as well.”

Southland Hospital. Photo: ODT files
Southland Hospital. Photo: ODT files

Dunedin, Lakes District and Southland hospitals will continue to provide essential and urgent services, emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, maternity services, renal dialysis, patient retrievals, and acute wards at reduced capacity.

Rural hospitals in Gore, Balclutha, Oamaru, Ranfurly, and Dunstan, as well as general practices and most other health services across the district are not directly affected by the strike action.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience that these postponements will invariably cause for patients and their whānau. Staff will rebook patients as quickly as possible, but this will take time. Our priority is the health and safety of our patients - we have to reduce services to ensure that we are able to care for patients who require urgent and emergency care during the strike period,” Mr Ng said.

The entrance to Lakes District Hospital. Photos: ODT.
Lakes District Hospital. Photo: ODT files

Emergency services will be operating during the strike period and people should seek medical treatment or go to ED if the matter is urgent as they normally would. They can call 111 for emergencies.

For non-urgent inquiries, patients should contact their general practice, urgent doctors (03 479 2900 in Dunedin) or call Healthline (0800 611 116).


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