Medical Imaging Technologists on strike from 29 Oct – 1 Nov inclusive, and on Monday 4 November

Wednesday 30 October 2019Media release4 minutes to read

West Coast DHB’s Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs) who are members of the APEX union are on strike from 7am Tuesday 29 October until 7am Saturday 2 November (four continuous days) and from 7am Monday 4 November until 7am Tuesday 5 November.

MITs are the health care professionals who carry out a wide range of x-rays and scans.

West Coast DHB’s Director of Allied Health, Technical and Scientific, Jane George said that anyone who had a pre-booked outpatient appointment during the strike period that involved an x-ray or scan had been contacted by phone or text and had their appointment rescheduled.

We will be working closely with our general practice teams to keep disruption to a minimum.

“This does mean that some people who are clinically stable may have to wait longer to have their x-ray or scan, and we apologise in advance for that.”

Anyone who needs emergency care during the five day strike period will receive it, including any x-rays or scans necessary for safe care. West Coast DHB has an arrangement with the union that enables staff who would otherwise be on strike, to provide emergency care if needed.

West Coast DHB employs 6 MITs and we are planning on the basis that the MITs who are members of the APEX union will all be on strike for the five-day period.

It’s important to note that sonographers who provide ultrasound scans are not affected by this strike and will continue to work as normal.

Ms George stressed that anyone who needs health advice or care should continue to make their general practice team their first port of call 24/7.

“After hours you can call your own practice, even when they’re closed. Simply follow the instructions on the answerphone to be put through to a nurse who will provide free health advice and tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

“Of course, if it’s an emergency you should call 111 as per usual,” Jane George said. “We have staff available to ensure you will receive the care you need.”

ENDS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR MEDIA

Note: This strike period isn’t five straight-up strikes – the odd days (days 1,3 and 5) are partial stoppages (time limits put on how long is allowed for each particular scan) and the even days are full strikes.

Who makes up the Medical Imaging Technologists (MIT) (radiographer) workforce?

Medical Imaging Technologists are health care professionals who specialise in acquiring images to assist Radiologists and Cardiologists and other medical specialists with medical diagnosis and treatment. 

The types of imaging they perform include:

  • General X-ray, including portable x-rays. This is the most common type of imaging used in medical diagnosis. It includes chest x-rays, and x-rays to diagnose broken bones.
  • Fluoroscopy is a specialised type of x-ray equipment that captures real time images. 
  • Image Intensifiers, also produce real time images. They are used in operating theatres to help guide a variety of procedures including checking the position of a hip replacement or a broken bone. Machines that do real time X-ray imaging are also used to guide a range of interventional radiology procedures including unblocking blood vessels to the legs and treating aneurysms or draining blocked kidneys. Cardiologists also use real time imaging in the catheter lab to assess and guide unblocking the arteries of the heart.
  • Bone Densitometry uses very low-dose x-rays to measures the density of bones.
  • CT – a Computerised Tomography or CT scan takes x-ray images from different angles around the body and uses a computer to create ‘slice images’ that show the detail of bones and blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body. 
  • MRI – or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans your body using strong magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses – the result is a detailed image that shows internal organs and structures.
  • Interventional Radiology – is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which uses minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat people. An example of this is the clot retrieval service for people who have had a stroke.
  • Nuclear Medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material along with x-rays from a CT scanner to make images that help detect things such as heart disease and bone tumours.

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Page last updated: 30 October 2019

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