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Queensland doctor contracts spark international concerns

14 Nov 2013

Federal AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, today called on the Queensland Government to rethink its hardline contracts for Senior Medical Officers in the public hospital system, as negative reaction to the contracts spreads internationally.

The New Zealand Association of Salaried Medical Specialists yesterday warned its members to steer clear of considering working in Queensland public hospitals because of “a draconian employment law” that would “severely weaken their right to negotiate collectively and provide them with fewer rights and protection”.

The Federal AMA last month criticised the Queensland Government contracts, saying they would have a dramatic negative effect on medical workforce numbers and patient access to care in Queensland

Dr Hambleton said the changed employment conditions could result in doctors moving interstate or into private practice.

“The potential workforce problems are now compounded because Queensland has often recruited hospital specialists from New Zealand and other countries,” Dr Hambleton said.

“As word continues to spread internationally, these contracts will cause this important workforce supply source to dry up.

“Queensland will not only lose talented local doctors, it will not be able to attract suitably trained specialists from interstate or overseas.

“To make things worse, any loss of senior doctors from the public hospital system would make it harder to train the next generation of doctors entering the system to provide care for Queenslanders.

“The big losers will be the patients of Queensland who need timely quality medical care in public hospitals.

“The Federal AMA urges the Government to urgently review the contracts and to work with the AMA Queensland and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation Queensland to reach employment arrangements that work best for the doctors, their patients, and the Queensland health system,” Dr Hambleton said.


14 November 2013

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Published: 14 Nov 2013