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Business | Healthcare

Queensland doctors seek swift resolution to contract standoff

20 Mar 2014, by Informa Insights

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With the Queensland doctor contract dispute no closer to resolution, junior practitioners across the state have called on industry bodies to find a prompt solution.

Junior doctor representatives attended a recent AMA Council of Doctors in Training (AMACDT) forum in Melbourne, in which they backed senior doctors and urged the need for a fairer assessment of their skills and qualities. With the threat of Queensland’s top doctors resigning over contract negotiations, their concern is that there will be a lack of experienced heads to train the next generation of doctors.

AMACDT Chair Dr James Churchill stressed that public hospitals are “the cornerstone of medical education and training”, and having a strong pool of qualified senior medical officers (SMOs) is crucial to the future viability of Australian healthcare.

“Junior doctors around the country are extremely concerned at the potential departure of SMOs from the Queensland public hospital system,” he said.

“They are highly skilled and experienced doctors, and crucial to the training of the future medical workforce. The senior doctors are a great asset for Queensland and should not have to endure the pressure and stress of the drawn-out contract negotiations.”

Contract Preparation and Negotiation for Non-LawyersDr Churchill expressed his belief that the current contract structure is unfair and does not “reflect the skills and dedication” of these practitioners, and urged the Queensland government to lead a mutually satisfying resolution.

Adequately training today’s junior doctors is essential to guaranteeing a strong pipeline of talent for the future. If the SMOs, those most responsible for training them, are on the brink of walking out, the future of healthcare in Queensland could be in jeopardy.

By attending a healthcare conference, like the AMACDT forum, those in the industry can be made more aware of the needs of doctors and situations like the current contract dispute can be avoided.

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