More than 500 laboratory procedures scheduled for Monday within the Vancouver Island Health Authority were postponed Friday, even as negotiations between health professionals and government health employers continued.
Monday's job action will reduce laboratory staff to essential services. More than 500 medical imaging tests were cancelled on Friday.
Provincewide, thousands of procedures have been affected as the Health Services Association shows its discontent with nine months of unproductive negotiations. The rotating strikes began Thursday, two days after mediator Vince Ready was called in.
Mediation, including face-to-face meetings, continues, said Michael March-bank, president of the Health Employers Association of B.C.
The talks are proceeding through the weekend, according to the union.
Lab, pharmacy and medical imaging staff are among health professionals who have not had a wage increase since 2009, with the HSA contending they are falling behind some other provinces.
The most recent offer by the employers was a one per cent wage increase effective Jan. 1, with a further two per cent on April 1, the union said.
Marchbank declined to discuss negotiating positions.
Job action at VIHA facilities will start at 12: 01 a.m. and run for 24 hours.
Affected laboratory services include heart and lung procedures as well as electromyography services to measure muscle and nerve weakness, tests that measure eye movements in diagnosing vertigo or balance dysfunction and polysomnographic services that test sleep disorders.
Urgent procedures will continue with priority given to drug monitoring and pre-operative blood work, VIHA said in a statement, adding that safety and urgent and emergency care remains the highest priority. Patients who require regular drug therapy monitoring will also be accommodated.
VIHA asks that patients not call in - patients will be contacted if their tests are postponed.
No picket lines are expected.
Outpatient laboratory services will also be affected, prompting VIHA to suggest that doctors and patients wait until later next week for non-urgent tests.
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