Junior doctors strike

Junior doctors are starting a two day strike today.

NZ Herald: 3000 junior doctors across the country go on strike

A strike has begun at 7am this morning, withdrawing the services of around 3000 resident doctors across the country.

District health board doctors who are members of the Resident Doctors Association are striking for 48 hours, from 7am today until 7am on Thursday.

The junior doctors said they were having to work 12 consecutive days with some of the shifts being up to 16 hours long, which was unsafe for patients and too tiring for them.

A spokeswoman for the country’s 20 district health boards has said the 12 days comprise five week days, a weekend and the following five week days. The DHBs are willing to give two days off on week days but the junior doctors want to be paid for them, which is effectively a pay rise.

Junior doctors are a critical part of our health system. Money will always be a problem in providing health care, but safety of the doctors and their patients should be a priority.


Leave a comment


  1. Bob

     /  18th October 2016

    Working 12 days on and two days off is a hard schedule, I support 10 days on with four days off, or five and two etc, but thinking they can go to ten days with four off and still get paid for 12 days is taking the proverbial.

  2. They should work the same hours as truck drivers

    • Jeeves

       /  18th October 2016

      Or Zero-hour contract casuals, who regularly clock up 14 hour days hard labour, 12 days out of fourteen, and are also on 24/7 standby for free.

  3. Conspiratoor

     /  18th October 2016

    The long hours on the wards are yet one more hurdle in a long marathon. Most young doctors are no strangers to sleep deprivation as to have got this far they have endured incredibly long hours of intensive study that would make other professions pale by comparison. If they make it through they are guaranteed financial security for life. Our daughter battled through and at 29 she pulls almost four times what her sister earns policing the mean streets of south Auckland. Personally I know what I would rather be doing.

    My nephew seeks his own counsel and has decided to work during the strike. He feels the 12 day stretch is hard and can be pretty tiring but he is not sure what the solution is. He rationalises it by arguing the the problem is the numbers not the hours. ‘If we were to work 10 days only given our current number of doctors it would likely mean working longer hours on those days and I don’t particularly feel that is any better’. His conclusion ‘until we have more junior doctors I’m not sure there’s much that can be done right now’

  4. duperez

     /  18th October 2016

    Many dream of being a doctor and they have to be just about the brightest of the bright to be selected, have to work their butts off, have to have stickability and persistence and when they get there what is the lifestyle like? What is their student loan like?
    A friend had a couple of experiences of being at A&E on Friday nights and saw some of these young doctors being treated like crap by drunken and drug addled people who had totally lost the plot.

    Dreams meeting reality.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  18th October 2016

      True D. From memory only about 1 in 10 aspirants at Otago make it through the first year and of the 10, 6 are ‘foreign students’

  5. Having participated in 28 day patrols in enemy infested territory, I learned how important it was to recognise the signs of real fatigue and deal with it. I would not wish that sort of regime on our young doctors and wonder why their senior controlling officers do not intervene. Or is it part of bastardisation of the newbies?


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