Cancer surgeries delayed by doctors’ strike

Important to support our colleagues: Young doctor

Important to support our colleagues: Young doctor

File photo

The nationwide strike by young doctors has had an adverse impact on patients at Gisborne Hospital with cancer surgeries delayed.

Hauora Tairawhiti chief medical officer Dr Ros Iversen said breast cancer surgery scheduled for two women this week had to be put off. Appointments were rescheduled for several other people due to have endoscopies to investigate a high suspicion of cancer.

“As you can imagine this makes for very anxious times for these patients who are delayed and it is heartbreaking for staff who have to tell people their much-needed appointment has been deferred,” she said.

Since 7am yesterday, around 15 young doctors (house surgeons) at Gisborne Hospital and employed by Hauora Tairawhiti district health board have stopped work to support a strike by house surgeons around New Zealand.

The strike ends at 8am on Friday — 73 hours after it began.

Safe rosters for young doctors

The nationwide strike by the young doctors, who are members of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA), was initially to protest for a stop to unsafe rosters — working more than 12 days in a row or seven night-shifts in a row. This has been resolved but outstanding issues over the roster system are still being negotiated.

Hauora Tairawhiti young doctors have been working safe rosters since they were introduced in 2014 — the first DHB in the country to do so.

Since 2014, house surgeons at Gisborne Hospital have had split nights introduced, a maximum of four nights in a row only and not working more than 10 days in a row — more than what young doctors were asking for nationally, said Hauora Tairawhiti clinical director surgical Dr Johan Peters.

Dr Morgan Pedersen, a house surgeon at Gisborne Hospital and member of the RDA, said it was important for young doctors here to support their colleagues in other centres because they would probably eventually work at those DHBs one day.

200 local patients put out

A young doctor is placed at Gisborne Hospital for a two-year stint before being moved to another DHB for further experience. But the strike has meant around 200 local patients have been put out — some more seriously than others. Dr Iversen said that to have surgery, people needed to take time off work.

“This can be very difficult for a schoolteacher during term time. One of our local teachers had their surgery booked this week during the school break. That surgery has now been deferred and is unlikely to be done before school goes back.

“These people have all been deferred because we must ensure the hospital is staffed to respond to acute and emergency work. If you have a stroke, or are in an accident, you can be sure that Gisborne Hospital will be able to respond safely and effectively.

“During the strike, if your condition is not urgent or severe, Hauora DHB encourages you to contact your GP in the first instance or ring Healthline on 0800 611-116,” said Dr Iversen.

“It is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The nationwide strike by young doctors has had an adverse impact on patients at Gisborne Hospital with cancer surgeries delayed.

Hauora Tairawhiti chief medical officer Dr Ros Iversen said breast cancer surgery scheduled for two women this week had to be put off. Appointments were rescheduled for several other people due to have endoscopies to investigate a high suspicion of cancer.

“As you can imagine this makes for very anxious times for these patients who are delayed and it is heartbreaking for staff who have to tell people their much-needed appointment has been deferred,” she said.

Since 7am yesterday, around 15 young doctors (house surgeons) at Gisborne Hospital and employed by Hauora Tairawhiti district health board have stopped work to support a strike by house surgeons around New Zealand.

The strike ends at 8am on Friday — 73 hours after it began.

Safe rosters for young doctors

The nationwide strike by the young doctors, who are members of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA), was initially to protest for a stop to unsafe rosters — working more than 12 days in a row or seven night-shifts in a row. This has been resolved but outstanding issues over the roster system are still being negotiated.

Hauora Tairawhiti young doctors have been working safe rosters since they were introduced in 2014 — the first DHB in the country to do so.

Since 2014, house surgeons at Gisborne Hospital have had split nights introduced, a maximum of four nights in a row only and not working more than 10 days in a row — more than what young doctors were asking for nationally, said Hauora Tairawhiti clinical director surgical Dr Johan Peters.

Dr Morgan Pedersen, a house surgeon at Gisborne Hospital and member of the RDA, said it was important for young doctors here to support their colleagues in other centres because they would probably eventually work at those DHBs one day.

200 local patients put out

A young doctor is placed at Gisborne Hospital for a two-year stint before being moved to another DHB for further experience. But the strike has meant around 200 local patients have been put out — some more seriously than others. Dr Iversen said that to have surgery, people needed to take time off work.

“This can be very difficult for a schoolteacher during term time. One of our local teachers had their surgery booked this week during the school break. That surgery has now been deferred and is unlikely to be done before school goes back.

“These people have all been deferred because we must ensure the hospital is staffed to respond to acute and emergency work. If you have a stroke, or are in an accident, you can be sure that Gisborne Hospital will be able to respond safely and effectively.

“During the strike, if your condition is not urgent or severe, Hauora DHB encourages you to contact your GP in the first instance or ring Healthline on 0800 611-116,” said Dr Iversen.

“It is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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