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Issue #1555      11 July 2012

Queensland government medical officers issue warning

Members of the union of public sector workers, Together, have voiced serious concerns about the possible community impact of a collective agreement offer made to Queensland Health medical officers.

Medical officers are working across Queensland Health facilities, as surgeons and anaesthetists, as well as in Emergency Departments.

“We are angry and concerned because Queensland Health’s current offer as it stands will lead to a substantial reduction in conditions affecting the overall service to Queensland communities by pushing doctors to work even longer hours,” Together vice president Dr Sandy Donald said.

“The current offer will drive doctors out of Queensland and in particular Queensland Health services. This will have serious effects on health services for the public,” Dr Donald said.

Medical officers have staged meetings about Queensland Health’s recent new offer at Brisbane, and regional centres including Nambour, Gold Coast, Cairns and Hervey Bay.

Together secretary Alex Scott said Queensland Health has reneged on 15 weeks of negotiations towards the next round collective agreement for state government medical officers.

Mr Scott said: “At this stage Queensland Health has rejected all our members’ claims and provided an ‘employer only’ focused offer.

“Our members have a right to be concerned for Queensland communities and families because the Queensland Health agreement offer would effectively exacerbate ongoing public health services workload issues.

“We have significant concerns that should such an agreement be implemented that Queensland Health will experience an exodus of experienced, skilled and senior doctors. Those doctors who are left behind to provide health services shall be more fatigued.

“Additionally, Queensland Health will fail to attract young doctors whose pay rates are put on hold in the offer. Our members working as medical officers keep a promise that Queenslanders make to each other that we will help out where we need to, that we will protect the vulnerable, look after the sick,” Mr Scott said.

“Medical officers are highly trained professionals who are dedicated to working for Queenslanders and they are entitled to fair and balanced wages and conditions for the future.”  

Next article – O’Farrell’s open season on job cuts

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