Doctors say trust has gone

TRUST in the State Government has eroded to such low levels that doctors involved in the contracts dispute are not willing to accept mere words anymore.

That is why doctors from Nambour General Hospital went to a meeting in Brisbane last night.

They wanted legal advice on a last-minute compromise offered by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg on Monday night.

The Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation was advising doctors to sign letters of resignation ahead of the meeting to begin its "mass resignation strategy".

Nambour anaesthetist Dr Alan Millard said doctors did not want to resign, but they did not believe the State Government either.

"The trust is so eroded. The Minister dragged it to this point, this is why such strong action was taken by doctors,'' he said.

Dr Millard said he would be "satisfied" if an Australian Medical Association lawyer gave the okay.

"We are at the end game of a protracted industrial dispute,'' he said.

"Until we get something written down and there is an agreement the law will be changed or acts amended so it is enshrined in law, rather than the whim of a ministerial directive, we are worse off than before we started.

"We are (meant to be) relying on the Minister's words, which eight days ago were diametrically opposite (to what he is saying now)."

Dr Millard said he knew of a number of people who had already signed letters of resignation.

"At the moment all we've got are more words," he said.

He hoped it would be a different story after the meeting.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said it was too early to give the offer from the Health Min

ister the all-clear at the Brisbane meeting.

He said many of the doctors' concerns were being addressed, but it still had to be thoroughly scrutinised.

"Our advice will be to carefully consider your options," Dr Hambleton said.


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