Negotiations to end junior doctors’ long hours have been labelled “an absolute farce” as a standoff with health boards continues.
About 3200 resident junior doctors across the country, including more than 100 in Palmerston North, walked off the job for 48 hours last week.
The New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (NZRDA) sat down with health board representatives on Wednesday this week in their first official discussions since the strike.
That was in protest against their long shifts, which can run up to 14 days in a row with a 30-hour weekend, or night shifts – working from about 11pm to 8am for seven days in a row.
The RDA say it is about hours while the DHBs say it is about pay. Sadly the media reporting of the dispute fails to provide impartial information such as what would be the cost to DHBs (and taxpayers) of the RDA claim.
The RDA say it is all about safety but this can’t be true as they are the union that agreed to these hours in the last pay negotiation. Why would they agree to hours that are unsafe?
The DHBs say that the RDA are asking for reduced hours, but no reduction in pay. If this is correct, then of course they won’t agree.
What I would like to see is independent analysis of the claims of each side, including what the cost of each side’s proposal is.