New Zealands junior doctor prepared for longest strike action yet

News 15/04/2019

Junior doctors are determined to push ahead with unprecedented strike action later in April.

The senior advocate for the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association (NZRDA), David Munro, told the AM Show its members believe the historic strike is necessary to force the hands of District Health Boards (DHBs).

"Our members are very determined, we've polled them on this issue, balloted, they've given us the instructions, they've said they want to go for a whole one-week strike.

They want to see maximum pressure put on the DHBs to see a change in their position.

Munro did acknowledge the strike will be a major disruption to regular hospital operations.

"We do anticipate it will have a big impact, but of course that's why people take strike action and the problem we've got at the moment is that eight days of strike action earlier this year hasn't changed the DHBs mind.

On Friday, DHBs released a statement saying that their latest offer had not been shared with NZRDA members. When asked if this offer had been considered, Munro said it was not a new proposal.

"The 'generous, unconditional offer' was from the Friday before and was identical to the one that was made on the 7th of March."

The National Party is calling for urgency from the government to resolve the situation and prevent any strike action.

"If the Minister doesn't get things under control then New Zealand could be set for a long year of strikes," the party said in a statement.

"There are still two weeks till the strike is set to take place"

David Clark needs to prioritise sorting his mess out to ensure New Zealanders aren't put at risk come 29 April.

When asked by the AM Show what is required to prevent the action, Munro was adamant that DHBs need to compromise.

"What will it take to stop this strike? We need a settlement.

 "They've simply got to get off their high horse and come with a more compromising approach."

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Albert Redmore