3 Oct 2016

Junior doctors threaten strike action over long hours

1:18 pm on 3 October 2016

Junior doctors are in mediation with district health boards (DHBs) today, in a bid to avert potential strike action.

Doctor hospital

Doctors say the long hours are unsafe for them, and for patients. Photo: 123rf

Doctors say some rosters requiring many long days in a row are unsafe - for both them and patients.

The Resident Doctors Association has previously said junior doctors may be required to work seven consecutive 10-hour night shifts, or 12 consecutive day shifts of up to 16 hours, with just two days off before returning to work.

It said that was not safe, but DHBs would only agree to fix night shifts, moving to four consecutive 10-hour nights over two years.

The result of a ballot of doctors was expected by today, but there's been no word yet on the outcome.

DHBs said they had offered an extra $60 million over three years to the doctors, amounting to a pay rise of about 5 percent, on top of a good annual salary plus allowances.