Primary healthcare news, information & resources


Nurses strike


UPDATE 10 JULY - the pay offer has been rejected by nurses and the strike for 12 July (7am-7am the following day: 24 hours) is confirmed.

This is nationwide, but doesn't directly impact primary care nurses.

Patients will be advised to visit their general practice or after hours care in the first instance and only go to ED in the event of an emergency.  

Patient safety remains the top priority. We need to ensure patients who need to go to ED do not avoid or delay going due to the strike and as a result exacerbate their illness further. If you see a patient during the week of the strike and have concerns regarding their potential deterioration, the patient is advised to still attend ED.

Patients in secondary care who meet the criteria will be discharged prior to the strike. Whanau will be asked to support remaining inpatients. Essential services will continue such as ICU etc. Plans are also in place with after-hours providers, St John and pharmacies.

Demand for appointments may not increase, but it is important practices are prepared to meet any potential increase.

What to do now 

Be flexible 

  • Be prepared for a potential increase in "walk-in" patients.
  • Consider blocking out times in your appointment books on Thursday 12 July for urgent and walk in appointments only.
  • If your practice policy allows patients to see a GP other than their usual doctor, offer this as an alternative if their usual GP is booked and the patient feels too unwell to wait until the next available appointment. 

Reduce unnecessary appointments

  • Consider reducing the number of appointments for routine health check and health promotion on this day. 
  • Consider using a text message, patient portal email, and/or reminder on your practice website to encourage patients who regularly take medication to check they have sufficient supply and not to leave requesting repeats until the last minute.

Reduced DHB services during NZNO strike

During this period please only refer patients to hospital that clearly require immediate hospital intervention or treatment. If you have any concerns or are unsure about a patient, you can call an ED doctor, medical specialist or registrar for advice before sending a patient to ED.


Waikato

Waikato DHB is preparing to close many of the services provided at Waikato Hospital and it's four rural hospitals Thames, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa and Taumarunui due to the impact of the strike. 

Waikato DHB hospitals will continue to operate essential services such as the Emergency Departments, emergency surgery and maternity care throughout the strike. Please use the ED avoidance systems, like Primary Options, wherever possible. 

Only the very minimum of services will be maintained during the strike. Many planned surgical operations and outpatient appointments will be rescheduled. Some services will close before the date of the strike to ensure the number of patients in hospital is as low as possible, so care can be provided safely.

Waikato DHB will still provide services defined as life preserving, including some essential outpatient services such as cancer treatments. They will contact patients directly to advise them of any changes and ask patients come to their scheduled appointment unless they have been contacted directly to say their appointment is being rescheduled.

There will also be restricted district nursing services on the day. Patients referred during this time may also experience delay in being seen in the days following the strike due to increased workloads and backlog.

During the strike period public are being told if their condition is not urgent or severe to call Healthline (0800 611 116) or contact their GP in the first instance where possible. If it's an emergency they should call 111. Information for the public is available on the Waikato DHB website. They can also follow the DHB on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates with the hashtag #WaikatoDHBstrike.


Taranaki 

Taranaki DHB is preparing to close many of the services provided at Taranaki Base Hospital and Hawera Hospital due to the impact of the strike. 

Taranaki Base Hospital will continue to operate essential services such as the Emergency Departments, emergency surgery and maternity care throughout the strike.  

During the strike period public are being told if their condition is not urgent or severe to call Healthline (0800 611 116), visit a pharmacy or contact their GP, MediCross or Phoenix Urgent Doctors in the first instance where possible. If it's an emergency they should call 111. Information for the public, including which services are closed, is available at on the Taranaki DHB website and will be regularly updated. Patients can also call 0800 753 868 if they need more information. 

Hauora Tairawhiti 

Almost all Hauora Tairawhiti nursing and healthcare staff are involved in the strike action, excluding midwives. Services will be reduced significantly. 

Services which will be delivered during the action include Emergency Department, ICU, CCU, theatre acutes, maternity: delivery, post-natal care and ward based care.
 
Services which will be cancelled/postponed during the action include all elective services, Tui Te Ora, outpatients, community mental health, child, adolescent mental health, Well Child, all community clinics, visiting specialists, rehab and district nursing.

During the strike period public are being told if their condition is not urgent or severe to call Healthline (0800 611 116) or contact their GP or nurse in the first instance where possible. If it's an emergency they should call 111.

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