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The impact of nurse’s strike action will be felt from tomorrow even though the Government is still claiming that the strike may be averted, National Party spokesperson for Health Michael Woodhouse says.

“Health Minister David Clark not only had the audacity to stare down the nurses over their last offer but the Workplace Relations Minister Ian Lees-Galloway claimed in select committee today that these strikes are still likely to be averted.

“Let’s be realistic here. The effects of this strike will be felt from tomorrow. There has been advice that all elective services will need to be cancelled in advance so the wards are as empty as possible in order to transition to the life preserving service provision level for the July 5 strike.

“Elective surgeries that are likely to be cancelled include cardiac surgery, surgeries for cancer and joint replacements. These patients may have been waiting some time for their procedures and will be devastated to learn that they are no longer going to take place.

“The Minister must clarify whether those patients will be pushed back with a knock on effect on all elective surgeries or if those who miss out will be bumped to the bottom of the list.

“Due to the fact that the next day of striking is only a week later, these complex surgeries may be postponed and by more than a fortnight causing considerable disruption.

“While the main impact of this strike is on the patients, the health sector will be forking out considerable sums of money for staff rostered while elective procedures are cancelled for up to a fortnight.

“We are now at zero hour; unless the strike is averted now patients will suffer even if it doesn’t go ahead.”

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