The Australian Medical Association announced today that six doctors resigned from a Melbourne public hospital citing worries over the implementation of new rosters,which they contend could harm patients. However, the Werribee Mercy hospital said that the doctors are simply expressing displeasure over the new working arrangement.
Victorian AMA president Mark Yates said the resignation of the doctors was effective from this week on and they would simply have to work elsewhere. "This is a situation where hospitals are constrained by budget, by a lack of support by the government and we're just losing doctors," he said. "Doctors aren't valued by the public hospital system and six doctors retiring in a short space of time from a public hospital should be making the government sit up and worry."
Meanwhile the hospital issued a statement saying that the doctors' had been replaced and the situation was under control. "Werribee Mercy Hospital is disappointed that a linkage is being created between staff turnover in the emergency department and negotiation over enterprise bargaining agreements," it said. "Nor should the community or the hospital services be alarmed by attempts to link this with EBA (enterprise bargaining agreement) resolution."
Even health Minister Bronwyn Pike was not sympathetic to the doctors' cause, "This is just part of the light and shade of an enterprise bargaining process that we're engaged in and I've every confidence it will be resolved," she said.