Article source: Brisbane Times

A doctors’ union will use two by-elections to attack the Queensland government over what it says are woefully unfair work contracts.

More than 500 doctors last night voted against the government’s individual contracts, which they say slash job protections, conditions and doctors’ pay.

The Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation says some doctors would rather “die in a ditch” than sign contracts that are as bad as WorkChoices.

It warns medical officers will shun work opportunities in Queensland’s public hospitals under the new regime.

Federation president Dr Tony Sara said the Newman government would be targeted at the upcoming by-elections in the state seat of Redcliffe and the federal seat of Griffith.

“It is as serious as it gets. We’ve never seen anything like this in all of Australia,” Dr Sara told ABC radio on Friday.

“Specialist doctors are already saying that if these contracts go through, as it looks like they will, then we’ll start moving to the private sector.”

But Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said he’d met numerous doctors who were totally comfortable with the shift to individual contracts and understood why they were needed.

He also denied doctors’ claims they’d be losing money.

“I don’t believe that that is the case,” Mr Springborg told the ABC.

The government’s push to get doctors onto individual contracts was sparked by the auditor-general’s findings that the old system was seriously flawed.