Queensland doctors are ramping up their campaign against new work contracts with a TV advertising blitz aimed at mustering public support.
Queensland doctors will use a TV advertising blitz to muster public support for their bitter dispute with the government over work contracts.
Two 15-second ads will run on commercial television stations for two weeks from Wednesday evening.
They feature a heart monitor that flatlines and warns all Queenslanders will suffer if the state’s 3500 senior medical officers, who work in the public system, are forced onto individual contracts.
The ads, authorised by the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation, are in part a response to print ads taken out by the government on Sunday.
Keep our Doctors spokeswoman Kate Flanders said it was disappointing to see the government using taxpayers money to spread untruths about the dispute.
She said it was not about money, but real concerns about fair work conditions for doctors and patient care.
Ms Flanders said that under the new contracts, doctors would have to consider the health system’s profitability in the course of their work.
There are also enduring concerns about doctors’ job security.
“Patients are at the heart of this,” Ms Flanders told AAP.
“It may not be popular with the hospital administration that they may be trying an experimental treatment, or keeping people in for longer, or doing different procedures than what they usually do.”
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg wants the contracts signed by April 30 and has made concessions in a bid to win over doctors.
But doctors rejected the amended contracts, saying they failed to resolve key issues.
More than 1000 of them voted at a Brisbane meeting last week against signing the contracts and again threatened to quit en masse.
Comment had been sought from Mr Springborg.
The government decided to put senior and visitor medical officers on individual contracts after two Auditor-General reports found the current system was open to rorting.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg flat out rejected Ms Flanders’ assertion that doctors would have to be concerned about budgets when treating patients.
He condemned the ASMOF and the Together Union for their role in the ads, and urged the public to look at what’s on offer rather than listen to a scare campaign.
“They are playing on people’s fear and emotion and don’t care about the consequences, but we do,” Mr Springborg told AAP.
“It is part of a broader Labor campaign to unsettle the government, to create disruption.
“Unions are never really solutions based, they have a vested interest in creating concern and alarm, the more they create the more membership they can recruit and that gives them financial advantage.”