The state’s doctors have very cautiously voted to accept the Government’s improved contracts and have vowed to continue fighting for the rights of Queensland patients.
Of the doctors who voted in the ballot from Together and ASMOF 53 per cent voted in favour of the contracts; 34 per cent voted against; and 13 per cent said they were unsure or abstained.
Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation President Dr Tony Sara said that while doctors have voted to accept the contracts in their current form, there is a very strong desire to continue the fight to improve the conditions in the public health system.
“We’ve come a very long way from the original contracts which completely stripped away the rights of doctors and patients. The contracts are now acceptable to the state’s doctors, but only barely,” Dr Sara said.
“This can’t be considered an overwhelming vote in favour of the Government’s contracts. Doctors fought very hard to get these significant improvements to the contracts that protect the needs of patients. This is the best possible contract we could get from a Government which is seemingly determined to put the needs of bureaucrats ahead of the needs of Queenslanders.
“The state’s doctors are committed to providing the best possible care to the people of Queensland. We won’t let this Government continue to attack the right of patients to have access to the best possible public health care system.
“One thing is very clear in all this – that the State Government has completely lost the trust of the its top doctors and the state’s patients. The onus now is on the Government to rebuild the trust and to work with its Health and Hospital Services to ensure the contracts doctors are provided with live up to their promises.”
There was also overhwleming support from doctors to be part of a campaign to ensure that the next generation of Queensland’s senior doctors are also guaranteed fair and just working conditions.
“Queensland must continue to attract the best and brightest junior doctors if it is to sustain a first class public health care system.” Dr Sara said.
Dr Sara today also expressed his marked disappointment at the overnight sacking of Assistant Health Minister Dr Chris Davis.
“Dr Davis knew the contracts his Government were trying to force through would strip away the rights of patients and doctors, so he did what was right and spoke out against them,” Dr Sara said.
“It’s very disappointing that the Premier has dismissed Dr Davis for standing up for the needs of the Queenslanders.”