by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia Inc has released a statement today regarding country hospitals. Over 108 junior doctors have been informed they will be unable to work in rural hospitals unless their supervisors, senior doctors, sign the new contract with CHSA by February 26th. RDASA said rural communities should be concerned.
The RDASA said they are concerned that Registrars are being used as pawns by the State Government in a political game that could jeopardise emergency, urgent and after hours care in rural hospitals putting rural patients at risk.
The Medical Clinic Millicent has successfully recruited a new GP Anaethetist but in light of the statement by RDASA, she won’t be able to use her anaesthetic skills at the Millicent Hospital, even in a life saving emergency situation, if she does not receive credentialing and scope of practice from CHSA.
According to the following statement from RDASA, South Australian doctors must sign the standard contract by February 25th for the 108 registrars to work in rural hospitals.
The statement reads:-
‘ Chaos is on the way for South Australian country hospitals, with many services at risk due to changes imposed by the State government.
Rural hospital services, including emergency, anaesthetic and obstetric services, will be in jeopardy after 26 February 2015 if rural doctors’ concerns about the new three-year proposed contract with Country Health SA Local Health Network are unable to be resolved.
Already reduced doctor numbers will be decreased further, with up to 108 junior doctors informed they will be unable to work in rural hospitals unless their supervisors sign the new contract by 25 February.
This would place patient care at risk and increase waiting times for treatment, including emergency, urgent and after hours care.
Vice President of Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA), Dr Peter Rischbieth said that the contract dispute was very concerning for rural health services.
“Doctors want to continue to provide hospital services in rural areas, but Country Health SA is making it increasingly difficult,” Dr Rischbieth said.
“Doctors have repeatedly raised concerns regarding the proposed contract with Country Health SA and have asked for a formal response from the Minister of Health, Jack Snelling, regarding key issues without any success.
People in rural communities should be concerned that their access to local emergency treatment could be reduced as a result of Country Health SA’s blatant disregard of rural doctors concerns.
Doctors need the right supports to enable them to provide high quality care to their communities.
This includes appropriate remuneration structures that allow doctors to practise safely and sustainably and which will attract and retain the next generation of highly skilled doctors.
RDASA is not able to endorse the proposed contract in its current form, and we call for the critical issues, as raised with the Minister, to be addressed,” Dr Rischbieth said.’
The Medical Clinic Millicent has received 4 letters from CHSA saying that the Registrars credentialing and scope of practice, is subject to the standard GP Agreement being signed no later than the 26th February 2015.
The RDASA have stated that they cannot endorse the current contract.