The decision made by junior doctors to walk off the job for five days will cause enormous disruption and needs to be addressed by Health Minister David Clark, National Spokesperson for Health Michael Woodhouse says.

“Up to 4000 junior doctors have signalled they’re going to be putting down their stethoscopes and are walking off the job from 29 April to 4 May.

“After the last strike was deferred, the Minister and District Health Boards should have used that time to negotiate a deal that ensured our health services continued and further action avoided, so New Zealanders aren’t going to be at risk.

“Instead the Minister has sat on his hands and let the situation with DHBs get away from him. He’s let every single DHB sink into more debt since he’s taken over and the combined debt looks likely to reach $500 million by year’s end.

“This mismanagement has led to the upcoming strike, and if the Minister doesn’t get things under control then New Zealand could be set for a long year of strikes.

“There are still two weeks till the strike is set to take place, David Clark needs to prioritise sorting his mess out to ensure New Zealanders aren’t put at risk come 29 April.”

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