Hospitals slam junior doctors' talk of second strike as they enter day two of stoppage

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1 NEWS

District Health Boards say it's atrocious that junior doctors are already indicating a second possible strike as they enter day two of their 48-hour stoppage over rosters.

Both sides of the dispute still appear no closer to a resolution.

The Junior Doctors' Union is still determined to get 12 day shifts down to 10, seven nights down to four and the DHBs are saying no.
Source: 1 NEWS

The junior doctors' union, the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association, remains determined to get 12-day shifts reduced to 10 and seven nights in a row down to four.

"We want contractual obligations to make sure these hours are fixed, and fixed permanently," said Deborah Powell of the association. 

The DHBs are still refusing the association's demand.

"We've heard what they've said, but we do not believe it's right to pay for those extra days off," said Julie Patterson, DHB lead negotiator.

The DHBs are also dismayed at the union already talking about a second possible strike.    

"I think it's atrocious actually. You know, how much does that indicate that you actually want to settle this when you're talking about your next bit of action?" Ms Patterson said.

When the strike began at 7am yesterday, junior doctors picketed outside Christchurch Hospital, as senior doctors stepped into the wards to cover for the strikers.

In Auckland, some others who had walked off the job chose to be community-minded. 

"Working in the hospital we've got finite resources, one of them being blood, so I think it's a good idea to come and give blood today," said striking junior doctor Soane Misiloi. 

Inside the hospitals, doctors reported "so far, so good". 

"I've been round and talked to a good number of people, and everything's quite calm and running well," said Dr Nigel Millar, DHB senior doctor spokesman.  

Community after hours clinics also reported a steady flow of patients. 

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