13 Sep 2010

Boards stonewalling us, say radiographers

1:01 pm on 13 September 2010

Radiographers say district health boards are stonewalling them at patients' expense.

Radiographers, who went on strike last Tuesday at all DHBs except Canterbury and Taranaki, are in pay talks with their employers.

But he union representing them, Apex, said on Monday that despite the strike action, DHBs have retabled the same offer.

Apex says this effectively ignores the radiographers' counter-offer.

The Auckland District Health Board says the post-mortems on the nine victims of the Fox Glacier air crash on 4 September were held up by a 48-hour delay caused by the striking radiographers.

Police say there were no issues and they were able to accommodate the action, but the head of Auckland University of Technology's health and environmental sciences faculty, Max Abbott, says it will have caused distress.

Action disappoints faculty head

Professor Abbott says working without access to scans and other tests increases patient risk.

He says it is disappointing that a small number of professionals are behaving in way that has a negative impact when other groups have acted in a measured way.

Withdrawing labour has to be balanced against the wider public good, says Professor Abbott, who says he is speaking out after fielding grave concerns from frontline health staff.

Five tourists and four New Zealanders were killed in the crash at Fox Glacier on 4 September.