15 April, 2014: Negotiations between doctors and the Government have resulted in an in-principle agreement on the current contracts issue that the state’s doctors will have the opportunity to vote on in the coming weeks.

The State Government returned to the negotiating table late last week, finally agreeing to amendments that will guarantee patient safety is not compromised in order to meet bureaucratic needs.

Keep Our Doctors spokesperson and President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Dr Tony Sara said the in-principle agreement does not mean that doctors are willing to sign the contracts just yet and warned that there are still key elements that the Government needs to address before the contracts will be put to doctors.

“The fact that the Government has come back to the negotiating table in order to reach a resolution that meets the needs of Queenslanders is very welcomed,” Dr Sara said.

“We are now in a position where we expect to have a contract that can put to the state’s doctors to vote on very shortly.

“Ultimately it’s up to the state’s doctors to decide whether they are confident the contracts put the needs of patients ahead of the needs of bureaucrats.

“Doctors have made it very clear throughout this process that we will never sign up to a contract that puts our patients at risk.

“The support doctors have received from the community throughout this process has been overwhelming.

Dr Sara said the in-principle agreement means that doctors will not be forced to resign from the public health system at this stage.

“There are still a small number of key matters that remain to be resolved. Our expectation is that these matters will be rectified prior to the mass meeting of doctors on Wednesday.”