Health minister Lawrence Springborg.
Health minister Lawrence Springborg. David Nielsen

Springborg turns to Twitter to tackle contract questions

HEALTH Minister Lawrence Springborg is a 'Twitter' when it comes to dealing with doctors requests for answers to the contracts' debacle.

Instead of responding to requests for information about doctors' concerns and calls for live debates, Mr Springborg went to social media to highlight the issue.

Mr Springborg did not respond to any of the Daily's requests for information yesterday concerning the contracts' dispute. 

And yesterday, his new Twitter account Lawrence Springborg@DrContractFacts included the tweet "who needs #qanda when there's @DrContractFacts?"

However, it appears other tweeters are not happy with the account, suggesting it only has five scripted lines.

Mr Springborg also suggests "the government has responded to all issues raised by doctors".

"If they view the offer, there would be no reason to quit."

While Mr Springborg is tweeting, Nambour Hospital doctors have printed a flyer highlighting their concerns which they aim to distribute in their local area and to outpatients.

 

Doctor resignations are ready for Friday

FRIDAY is looming as the day the Sunshine Coast will lose some of its "health's angels" - the senior doctors who choose to work in the public domain.

With the contracts dispute with the State Government showing no sign of a resolution, many doctors have letters of resignation written and prepared to submit by Friday to avoid their loss of entitlements.

The potential impact on the Coast becomes clear as the names and job profiles of doctors prepared to walk away from their careers in Queensland Health surface.

Dr Heidi Webster, the Sunshine Coast's only developmental and behavioural physician, is preparing to resign after 15 years of service.

Dr Webster said she has to quit by Friday's deadline if she wants to receive "my 23 weeks of long service leave, owing to me for 15 years' service to Queensland Health".

Nambour anesthetist Dr Alan Millard said if doctors had not signed their contracts by Friday they could lose these entitlements.

Dr Webster is hopeful she won't have to quit the job she loves, but the issue seems no closer to resolution after Premier Campbell Newman said last week doctors who resigned could be replaced by those from interstate or overseas.

If Dr Webster leaves, the Sunshine Coast will have only one full-time children's psychologist in the Child Development Service.

"We currently have a waiting list of 680 kids in our specialist pediatric clinic," Dr Webster said.

"Of these, 70% are referred for developmental, behavioural, mental health and learning difficulties. We are already under-funded and under-resourced in this district.''

Dr Webster said she was not alone in "leaving Queensland Health with a broken heart".

More than 1000 doctors at a meeting in Brisbane last week indicated they would support a "mass resignation strategy".

Dr Millard said doctors were forced to resort to the desperate measure as they had no other options.

He said the government continued to shift focus by attempting to blame the unions or the previous government.

"It's not the unions, about 3500 doctors attended the last meeting, and they can't blame the previous government as it is their contract.

"So we must be bikies, as that is the only other option. My gang's got heart surgeons, people who make children live beyond one - we are health's angels."

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said an addendum to the contracts had been prepared.

"This addendum covers the bulk of issues raised by doctors in the recent talks and in meetings with staff conducted by the Director General," he said.


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