Full hospital services maintained during protests

District Health Boards say normal hospital services will be available over the next two weeks while nurses undertake pickets in support of claims about their pay and working conditions.

DHB spokesperson, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says while there’ll be protests outside many hospitals, its important people realise all services will continue to be available.

“Anyone needing emergency treatment or with an appointment should go to their hospital as normal. We don’t want anyone missing out on care they need.

“The action is a lawful right and designed to highlight the nurses’ and midwives’ claims in negotiations but patient services are not affected during the two weeks of action.”

Dr Bloomfield says the Prime Minister has recommended an Independent Panel to help solve the current impasse in the pay talks as well as finding a way to address nurses’ pay equity and workload issues.

“DHBs are working with the nurses’ and midwives’ union and the Ministry of Health to finalise the panel and how it will work.

“The nurses’ union has made it clear that industrial action is a last resort – we agree and hope the Independent Panel will help find an agreement and avoid disrupting health services. I think nurses and midwives would expect us to explore all options before they consider strike action.

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