Defiant Newman warns the doctors

DOCTOR contract negotiations have reached a standstill with the Queensland Government taking a take-it-or-leave-it stance.

Premier Campbell Newman, responding during Question Time in Parliament yesterday, said he was prepared to recruit interstate or overseas doctors to replace any Queensland doctors resigning over the contract dispute.

"Do not doubt the Government's resolve," he said.

"It is up to doctors now. If they wish to sign, we want them on board.

"If they want to resign, we will find replacements.

"It is about money and remuneration. It is about pay and conditions. It is about collective bargaining and not about patients.

"What I say to Queenslanders is that these individuals are not lowly paid workers on a factory floor being paid $50,000 a year.

"They are being paid $400,000 or $500,000 a year. They are highly trained, highly respected, well-remunerated and being taken care of."

More than 1000 doctors voted on Wednesday night to reject the changes the Government was prepared to make to the individual contracts on offer.

Australia Medical Association president Steve Hambleton told radio station 4BC trust had been lost over the past six months.

He said there were 3500 doctors in Queensland who would need to accept the offer.

"Everybody can see those terms were unfair but there's been some movement," he said. "A lot of those things that were unfair were attempted to be addressed.

"We should not rule out a successful outcome because that's what the doctors want."


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