More health staff needed to help prevent tragedies

Posted on December 10, 2014

Together, the union of public sector workers including medical officers (doctors) is yet again calling for higher and more consistent health staffing levels, as it has been doing for some time.

Assistant Secretary Kate Flanders said today the North Queensland hospital deaths examined by the Queensland coroner are, “…a terrible tragedy and it’s these sorts of terrible tragedies that happen when people are under resourced.”

Together notes staffing improvements have occurred at Atherton in consultation with Management and at Innisfail following Together action.

Together is also welcoming implementation of an improved workforce model at Mossman Hospital.

Together health speaker Dr Sandy Donald said today, “Two rounds of major cuts to Health staffing and the Queensland government’s persistent campaign against doctors has undermined services.

“An adequate number of appropriately experienced doctors and other staff would clearly improve the quality of health care.

“We have concerns that a Cairns HHS instruction that doctors must review all patients to be admitted was not matched by increased staffing levels in all cases.

“Generally across the state, we have concerns that meeting financial goals has often prevented adequate medical staffing.

“Together hopes the Queensland government will permit HHS’s to consult with unions instead of requiring that changes be kept secret until all of the details have been decided.

“Generally across QH, we have ongoing concerns about the watering down of protections against fatigue,” Dr Donald said.

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