Tomorrow is the day.

30,000 nurses will be walking off their job tomorrow after rejecting a pay offer, leaving the health system without 70 percent of its frontline workforce.

It is the biggest strike to hit the sector in 30 years.

Here’s how it will affect you:

MIDWIVES

Midwives say Thursday will pretty much be business as usual for maternity services and expectant mothers will be receiving the care they need.

Midwives spokeswoman Caroline Conroy says midwives generally staff maternity services.

But she says some of the larger DHB’s who have a shortage of midwives have some nurses on board and they may not be at work, but midwives certainly will be.

Caroline Conroy says health care assistance midwives get from housekeeping support will not be available tomorrow.

NORTHLAND

Northland District Health Board says they have had a good response to their call for volunteer support to cover the nurses strike tomorrow.

It says there’s support from DHB staff, who normally work in other functions, and staff from other health providers answering the call and offering their skills and time over the strike period.

The DHB says they have comprehensive contingency management plans to ensure acute care and emergency services remain available during strike action.

But they had to reschedule non-urgent surgery and many outpatient appointments.

The DHB says while the majority of services are unaffected, the strike will have an impact on patient care.

AUCKLAND

Starship medical director Dr Mike Shepherd says they’ve already started postponing elective procedures and non-urgent out patient clinics ahead of the nurses’ strike on Thursday.

He says affected patients will be contacted in the next 24 hours if they have not been already.

Dr Shepherd says If people have not heard from the hospital they should attend their appointment as planned.

“We’ve put in place a life preserving service plan which allows us to make sure that we maintain safe services. That’s particular in our acute and emergency areas like the intensive care unit and the emergency department.”

BAY OF PLENTY

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board says all services which can be deferred will be and outpatient clinics will be closed tomorrow

The DHB Chief Executive Helen Mason says services at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals will be reduced to a minimum.

But emergency and essential services will be maintained during the strike.

She says elective surgery, has been rescheduled to reduce patient numbers and patients affected by the strikes should have been contacted and given details of what the changes mean for them.

HAWKE’S BAY

Hawke’s Bay DHB says they will be providing essential and urgent services tomorrow but at reduced capacity.

This includes emergency departments, acute surgery, intensive care, cancer treatments and maternity services at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

Chief executive Kevin Snee says like all other health boards, it’s actioning contingency plans for the nurses strike to minimise disruption wherever possible.

He says patients whose appointments and procedures are being postponed will be contacted directly by phone by DHB staff and will be rebooked as soon as possible.

He says Wairoa Hospital will provide Emergency Department services for essential and urgent cases.

But Central Hawke’s Bay Health Centre inpatient ward will be closed.

WELLINGTON

Capital and Coast District Health Board says the emergency department at Wellington Regional Hospital will remain open throughout the strike.

But it’s reminding people the ED is for emergencies only.

The DHB says anyone unsure about whether they need ED care should contact their GP or call Healthline (0800 611 116) for free advice from a registered nurse.

NELSON / MARLBOROUGH

Nelson Marlborough Health Board is preparing to close most hospital elective services tomorrow.

Spokeswoman Pamela Kiesanowski says they acknowledge the nurses right to strike.

She says it’s not an easy decision to make and many staff will be feeling unsettled.

Pamela Kiesanowski says they will continue to operate essential services such as emergency departments, emergency surgery and maternity care throughout the strike.

CANTERBURY

Nearly 1000 appointments and surgeries in Canterbury will be moved to a later date.

The Canterbury District Health Board are rescheduling as they prepare to the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation to strike on Thursday.

Chief executive David Meates says they appreciate how disruptive this is to those affected.

Complex surgeries will also be post-phoned in order to reduce the number of patients in hospitals during the strike.

OTAGO

Otago hospitals have started rescheduling appointments ahead of Thursday’s nurses strike.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming says they sincerely regret having to defer appointments.

He says all appointments will be rebooked, but it’ll take some time.

Those most affected include Dunedin, Southland and Lakes District hospitals.

Source: Newstalk ZB

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