Imaging technologists strike again on Monday

Medical imaging technologists are striking again on Monday, for 24 hours from 7am, and for 24 hours from 7am on Wednesday.

This follows a two-day strike at Gisborne Hospital two weeks ago.

Hauora Tairawhiti is reassuring people that measures are in place to keep them safe if they need urgent care at the hospital during the strike.

“While there will be no planned X-rays, MRI or computed tomography (CT) scans done at Gisborne Hospital during those two 24 hour periods, if someone needs urgent care we have a plan,”says acting clinical care manager Debbie Cordiner.

“In this case a medical imaging technologist who is on call would come in to provide those images.

“Medical imaging technologists are a vital part of the healthcare team at Hauora Tairawhiti and this strike will affect our ability to carry out most of our services.

“Surgery and clinical appointments will carry on.

“Only people who are unlikely to need X-rays have been booked in for early next week.

“In the unlikely event that a person’s surgery or an appointment is changed, they will be contacted directly by phone or text.”

X-ray services are still available in Gisborne during this period through TRG Imaging, which is based at Three Rivers Medical on Customhouse Street.

“If anyone has a minor accident they should go to the GP or medical centre they are enrolled with.

“They will assess you and then refer you to TRG Imaging for an X-ray.

“This will be paid for by ACC.

“Your GP will then ask you to come back to the medical centre to get treatment like having a cast put on for example.

“Or they may refer you to the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital where the doctors will look at the X-rays taken by TRG Imaging and decide what to do next.”

“Alternatively please call 0800 611 116 for advice and information from a trusted registered nurse.

“However, always call 111 in an emergency.

“I understand that these disruptions can be frustrating,’’ said Mrs Cordiner.

“We are doing all we can to minimise inconvenience and ensure that X-rays and CT scans are available for people who are at risk.”

MITs are qualified healthcare professionals who produce medical images of the body, using radiation, to help clinicians diagnose and treat illness and injury.

Medical imaging technologists are represented by the APEX union. Nine months of employment agreement negotiations have failed to secure a settlement. At issue are staffing numbers.

“The number of staff the DHBs want and need to employ outstrips the actual number employed which leaves existing MITs under considerable pressure to increase the number of examinations (X-rays, CTs etc) they each do,” says Dr Deborah Powell, national secretary of APEX.

“This workforce crisis has gotten to a point where the MITs simply can’t cope anymore.”

Medical imaging technologists are striking again on Monday, for 24 hours from 7am, and for 24 hours from 7am on Wednesday.

This follows a two-day strike at Gisborne Hospital two weeks ago.

Hauora Tairawhiti is reassuring people that measures are in place to keep them safe if they need urgent care at the hospital during the strike.

“While there will be no planned X-rays, MRI or computed tomography (CT) scans done at Gisborne Hospital during those two 24 hour periods, if someone needs urgent care we have a plan,”says acting clinical care manager Debbie Cordiner.

“In this case a medical imaging technologist who is on call would come in to provide those images.

“Medical imaging technologists are a vital part of the healthcare team at Hauora Tairawhiti and this strike will affect our ability to carry out most of our services.

“Surgery and clinical appointments will carry on.

“Only people who are unlikely to need X-rays have been booked in for early next week.

“In the unlikely event that a person’s surgery or an appointment is changed, they will be contacted directly by phone or text.”

X-ray services are still available in Gisborne during this period through TRG Imaging, which is based at Three Rivers Medical on Customhouse Street.

“If anyone has a minor accident they should go to the GP or medical centre they are enrolled with.

“They will assess you and then refer you to TRG Imaging for an X-ray.

“This will be paid for by ACC.

“Your GP will then ask you to come back to the medical centre to get treatment like having a cast put on for example.

“Or they may refer you to the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital where the doctors will look at the X-rays taken by TRG Imaging and decide what to do next.”

“Alternatively please call 0800 611 116 for advice and information from a trusted registered nurse.

“However, always call 111 in an emergency.

“I understand that these disruptions can be frustrating,’’ said Mrs Cordiner.

“We are doing all we can to minimise inconvenience and ensure that X-rays and CT scans are available for people who are at risk.”

MITs are qualified healthcare professionals who produce medical images of the body, using radiation, to help clinicians diagnose and treat illness and injury.

Medical imaging technologists are represented by the APEX union. Nine months of employment agreement negotiations have failed to secure a settlement. At issue are staffing numbers.

“The number of staff the DHBs want and need to employ outstrips the actual number employed which leaves existing MITs under considerable pressure to increase the number of examinations (X-rays, CTs etc) they each do,” says Dr Deborah Powell, national secretary of APEX.

“This workforce crisis has gotten to a point where the MITs simply can’t cope anymore.”

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