Long-time doctor leaves for WA job

SENIOR doctors at Caboolture Hospital are prepared to walk en masse, angered by new contracts being pushed on to them by the State Government.

Senior medical officer and staff specialist for the Caboolture Hospital Emergency department Mark Scott, who handed in his resignation last week, said he wouldn't have contemplated it if it weren't for the new contracts.

Senior doctors say the individual contracts are unfair, stripping doctors of vital conditions such as fatigue management, allowing for unfair dismissal and placed patient safety at risk.

"Majority of doctors in emergency have sent resignation letters in or they are going to, many are disgusted it has gotten to this stage but most have their plan B sorted out as to where they will go," Dr Scott said. "The junior doctors are disheartened as they can see the seniors leaving, there is a lot of fear about their training."

Dr Scott, 42, is a husband and father of seven who has spent most of his 20-year career with Queensland Health at Caboolture. While he said he would miss Caboolture, he planned to uproot his family and move to Western Australia after accepting a position there. He said he had no intention of withdrawing his resignation.

"This government sees that its ideology and internal politics are more important than providing a functional health service, and that is enough to make me move my family interstate," he said.

Caboolture Hospital has not been without troubles before, the emergency department closed for three months in 2006 due to a doctor's shortage.

A spokesman for Metro North Hospital and Health Service, which oversees Caboolture, said Queensland Health was actively communicating with senior medial officers to work through any concerns through consultation forums and ongoing individual contract negotiations. "In the advent that staff may wish to leave Queensland Health, there are a number of local contingency plans in place to ensure that there is minimal disruption to patients of the care they receive," he said.

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