Complicated negotiations behind Dr Bush departure
LEADING Gladstone obstetrician Dr Adam Bush says Gladstone Hospital had made it "unnecessarily complicated” for him to continuing practising there.
Dr Bush said he had been negotiating with the public hospital since the Mater Hospital announced in June it would close its maternity ward on October 1.
The Mater, which is run by Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland, said the decision was based on declining birth rates at the hospital which had dropped to "less than 10 births a month”.
"They have made it very complicated and I think unnecessarily complicated,” Dr Bush said.
"All I needed from them was a yes that it would definitely happen and they've been unable to get to that point where they can guarantee I can continue practising there.
"It wasn't a lack of faith in the public hospital, it was the administration were unable to negotiate the issues that needed to be negotiated and that process has been going on since the Mater announced the closure in June.
"We've had three months to negotiate it and nothing fruitful has come from that.”
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Steve Williamson said they had been working on strategies to cope with an extra influx of patients since the Mater decision.
"Since Mercy Health made the decision to stop providing private birthing services at Gladstone Mater Hospital we have been working very hard to ensure the public hospital is ready and able to cope with the resulting increased workload,” he said.
"This has included a $1 million investment from the Queensland Government for additional staffing resources, and recruitment is progressing well.”
Mr Williamson said CQ Health was "absolutely committed” to supporting the needs of Gladstone.
"We have also been in discussions with Dr Bush and the other private doctors in Gladstone to explore options for the public hospital to work with the private doctors.
"In fact, we have suggested five different models of service in which we could work together to help provide an ongoing private birthing service.
"We will continue to work closely with the private doctors in Gladstone. However the overriding priority for our service is the safety and sustainability of our public hospital and health services.”
Dr Bush said he expected to be delivering at Gladstone Hospital for private patients and had been working towards that, but also had growing concerns it wouldn't happen.