A mass meeting of more than 800 doctors from across the state last night unanimously called on the State Governemnt to re-open negotiations over the contracts with workers’ representatives.

The doctors moved a resolution calling on the Government to meet with groups including the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation, Together and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in a bid to resolve the current issue of doctors contracts.

ASMOF Federal President Dr Tony Sara said the packed room of senior doctors at Brisbane’s Pineapple Hotel also unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the Health Minister and commited to not signing the State Government’s proposed individual contracts.

“The passion among doctors throughout the state is palpable. They want this issue resolved as swiftly as possible for the benefit of the people of Queensland,” Dr Sara said.

“The Health Minister is forcing the state’s public health system into a state of crisis. Already the impact of the Government’s attempts to force doctors to sign onto these unfair individual contracts are being felt around the state, particuarly in regional areas.

“The contracts strip away vital rights like doctors’ ability to speak up for patients without fear of losing their job. Doctor’s are commited to the state’s public health system – they simply cannot sign up to contract knowing the detrimental impact they will have on quality care in the state.

“There were well over 800 doctors in the room at the Pineapple Hotel last night – that’s a significant percentage senior doctors in the state

“Doctors from places like Cairns, Mt Isa, Townsville and the Gold Coast make the effort to travel to meet with Brisbane-based doctors to discuss the serious impact of the State Government’s plans. This is not something any doctor is taking lightly.

“We don’t want to get to the point where doctors are forced to resign from their positions in the public health system, but if the State Government continues down this path that outcome is looking quite likely.

“Doctors are committed to the public health system and to getting a quick resolution to the issue. We’re hopeful the State Government will change its mind and meet with the relevant representatives of the profession for the benefit of the people of Queensland.

“We want to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the State Government a fair and reasonable outcome that protects the rights and conditions of doctors and patients.”