Medical association warns against doctor contract changes

HERVEY Bay-based president-elect of the Australian Medical Association of Queensland warns putting doctors on individual contracts could result in patients losing their best doctors.

"It means a Hervey Bay doctor could be told to go three hours west for a posting at Eidsvold," Shaun Rudd said.

"Moving doctors within their regional areas can be unfair, with families, kids, school and a mortgage.

Dr Rudd said most Queensland doctors felt deep concerns with the lack of dispute resolution and termination assistance offered by Queensland Health with a move to contracts.

"It may not be in the patients' best interests for doctors to focus on KPIs (key performance indicators)," Dr Rudd said.

"We're at the stage now when we need to be talking with the State Government to ensure the best outcomes."

Dr Rudd was due to meet privately with visiting Health Minister Lawrence Springborg on Thursday night.

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service would become the employer for senior Fraser Coast doctors to engage and negotiate with, instead of a centralised Brisbane hub.

A spokesman for Mr Springborg's office said local health boards were to negotiate each contract with the doctor, with the first contracts being sent out this week.

He said the changes would encourage competition between hospital and health boards to attract quality doctors.

Assistant Health Minister Chris Davis said the new contracts would increase job security by ensuring doctors could no longer be transferred anywhere in the state without consultation, which was presently the case.

Topics:  ama doctor health medical

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