Local medical staff protest changes to their contracts at Hervey Bay Hospital.
Local medical staff protest changes to their contracts at Hervey Bay Hospital. Robyne Cuerel

Doctors' resignation letters written and on hold

UPDATE: More than 30 medical staff, including doctors, have protested at Hervey Bay Hospital against new contracts issued by the State Government.

Together Union organiser Donna Webster said resignation letters were on hold across the state unless the Health Minister agreed to change legislation. 

Some workers were carrying signs which read "Contracts: Bad for your health" and "SMO's say No!"

The medical staff marched from the hospital foyer to the front gate about noon on Wednesday.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health board chairman Dominic Devine said doctors could be confident the board valued their work and supported their right to raise any concerns as they moved to contract-based employment.

He said residents could also be confident the contracts on offer to doctors ensured fairness, stability of employment and efficiency within the public health sector.

"After months of collaboration and consultation, the contracts now reflect the willingness of management and clinicians to create a better public health system," Mr Devine said.

"Safeguards and incentives for all parties are in place.

"I am of the view that the new contractual framework guarantees the best possible conditions for doctors and that this will lead to better health care for all of us.

"Key aspects of contract arrangements such as the powers of the Director-General, dismissal processes and dispute arbitration have been discussed with doctor's representatives at a state level.

"Solutions to the statewide issues will be incorporated into an addendum to the contracts for doctors to consider along with the contract itself to be able to make an informed choice.

"In Wide Bay, our contracts have addressed the majority of these issues from day one.

"The government has set April 30 as the date for doctors to sign their contracts to allow time to check and confirm that payroll systems are in place for implementation on July 7."

EARLIER: Fraser Coast doctors will meet in the Hervey Bay Hospital foyer on Wednesday at noon and walk out the gate in protest against individual contracts the State Government is offering.

Together Union regional organiser Donna Webster said despite reports suggesting a resolution was near, nothing had been finalised so doctors would continue with the planned action.

"I've just come back from Hervey Bay Hospital and the senior medical officers are still going ahead with it," Ms Webster said on Tuesday.

"(Monday) was the first day (Health Minister Lawrence Springborg) had intervened and tried to listen to doctors about what their concerns are with the dodgy contracts."

Queensland Health Director-General Ian Maynard released a statement on YouTube yesterday saying the government proposed to amend the contracts through an addendum, or addition, which reflected solutions doctors had asked for in previous discussions.

Those concerns, according to Ms Webster, include that the contracts could be varied at any time without employee agreement.

Other concerns were that doctors could be fired without cause and they could be forced to work shifts or be transferred to a different location with prior consultation or compensation.

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