Criticism against doctor's strike action

By Mānia Clarke

The medical director of Papakura Marae Health Clinic is criticising the strike action for better working conditions by junior doctors.  Dr Rawiri Jensen says patient care should take precedence.

For Jensen it’s about being front and centre for the patient.

“The priority of a doctor is the care of the patient and the family,” he says, “Nothing else matters.”

More than 3,000 junior hospital doctors are still off the job in 48-hour strike action against District Health Boards (DHBs) over a roster and placement dispute concerning trainee doctors.

However, Jensen, who has been practicing for nearly 20 years, has little sympathy for his junior peers.

“Historically this has been an issue within hospitals, not only for doctors, but also nurses and other hospital staff,” he says.

And the actions are also a cause of concern for the health community of Papakura Marae.

“If it's a health and safety issue, consider the health and safety of our whānau that they're not seeing and having to come back out to primary care land,” says CEO Tony Kake.

“Advocate well, have a group that will do that with the DHB boards and so on but mate don't stop, don't stop cause we ain’t stopping.”

“They can sit down and deliberate the concerns between them apart from putting patients at risk,” says Jensen.

District Health Boards are seeking to resolve the dispute with the Resident Doctors' Association.

However, more strike action will take place in two weeks if a solution isn't found.