Canterbury DHB prepares for strike

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New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have voted to strike from 7am Thursday 12 July until 7am Friday 13 July. This will significantly impact services at all Canterbury DHB facilities.

As part of its contingency plans Canterbury DHB has started postponing and rescheduling approximately 800 outpatient appointments and around 150 surgeries. Patients whose appointments and procedures are being postponed will be contacted directly by phone by Canterbury DHB staff.

Note that most complex surgeries that were scheduled to occur before the strike are also being postponed to reduce the number of people in our hospitals during the strike period. Some urgent surgery, such as cancer surgery will go ahead.

Our priority is to ensure we maintain safe patient care and minimise disruption for inpatients during the strike period.

Importantly, all of our hospitals and health centres will remain open and continue to provide essential and urgent services including emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, cancer treatments, maternity services, renal dialysis, and our wards will remain open but with reduced capacity.

Remember in Canterbury if you need health care advice, make your general practice team your first port of call for care around the clock.

You can phone your usual GP team after-hours for free health advice. When they are closed your call will be put through to a nurse who can advise on what to do and where to go if it’s urgent and you need to be seen by a doctor.

In an emergency, you should still phone 111.

If patients need to check on their appointment, they can call the number on their appointment letters. If possible, quote the NHI number which is usually in the upper right hand corner of the letter. If people can’t find their appointment letter, they can call 03 364 0640 and ask to be put through to the appropriate department.