Doctors and DHBs sit down for talks after record strike

Facilitation between junior doctors and DHBs gets underway on Thursday, in what is hoped will be a major step in resolving their long-standing dispute.

It follows the fifth and longest strike for the workforce this year, as doctors fight to protect their existing conditions.

Facilitation allows a third-party to determine the bargaining outcome, although the decision is not binding.

Any decision may not be made until next week.

Junior doctors went on strike on April 29 over proposed changes to their employment contract, which they said would leave them more exhausted than they already are.

"It's very disappointing for the doctors - they didn't become doctors to go on strike," David Munro from the Registered Doctors' Association said in April. "They became doctors to look after people and make the world a better place."

Munro said the DHBs' changes will leave doctors "fatigued and exhausted", but the DHBs say they just want different facilities to have personalised rosters, rather than a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

"Why do you say that after 10 days, you need four days off? Maybe if there was more flexibility that said if you were fatigued after eight days, you could have a day off?" Capital and Coast DHB Chief Medical Officer John Tait told The AM Show.

"So flexibility within the rosters, rather than a one-size-fits-all and it doesn't fit. A roster that works at Wellington Women's Health [might not work in] Hawke's Bay."