Exclusive video diaries of our fatigued young doctors: 'My sole aim is to get through without screwing anything up'

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A trio of junior doctors have shared their video diaries with ONE News, detailing their extreme fatigue and fear of making a mistake.

Exclusive video diaries from junior Kiwi doctors: 'I'm really tired, I don't know how I'm going to survive the week'
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Young doctors struggling with hectic schedules are speaking out about severe fatigue incurred by working so much.
Young doctors struggling with hectic schedules are speaking out about severe fatigue incurred by working so much.
Source: ONE News

Young doctors are preparing to go on strike after the DHB once again rejected their pleas for safer working hours.

The doctors are so concerned about their health and their patients' safety they say they're willing to put their careers on the line.

A number have filmed video diaries detailing the exceptionally long hours that they work - routinely 16 hours or more.

"Today I'm doing another 16 hours shift, I'm just really tired and I don't know how I'm going to survive this week," one young doctor revealed.

"I usually love my job but today I don't really have a lot of enthusiasm going into my day and my sole aim is to get through without screwing anything up," said another.

Today I'm doing another 16 hours shift, I'm just really tired and I don't know how I'm going to survive this week"
Junior doctor

A recent survey revealed that more than 1000 junior doctors have made a mistake affecting a patient due to fatigue, and nearly 300 reported falling asleep at the wheel on their way home.

On top of working 16 hour days, they are often expected to work those shifts for stretches of up to 12 days at a time.

The DHB's have offered to reduce the number of night shifts within the next two years, but only if doctors lose some overtime pay.

A spokesperson for New Zealand's 20 DHB's refuted that there is a problem with fatigue, saying they have already addressed concerns about 80 of 144 rosters which have been brought to their attention.

The junior doctors' preferred solution is hiring more doctors - about 100 of them.

Workplace Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman told ONE News they are unwilling to get involved, as they consider it an employment issue between the doctors and their DHB's.

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