21 Mar 2011

Doctors on strike–in clannish support

Well, I never see more!!

This situation getting better and better daily. I don't know about other readers, but I am actually having a time of my life reading about the antics of those involved.

No doctor (including Chattergoon or Mohammed - head of MPATT) has yet offered an apology or regretful opinion to the family of the deceased. But... they have closed ranks to protect their own. Common trait, don't you know?

What most people missed in yesterday's article, is that there appears to be an absence of a legal policy at the SWRHA to deal with medical staff.

For me this shows gross complacency and negligence by the senior doctor involved and what the SWRHA has not done before, I will need to address with the assistance of the new Board. Specifically, dismissal of staff on grounds of medical mismanagement, with a covering HR/Legal Policy established.

I interpret the last sentence by Chester-Cumberbatch (ex-CEO) to mean that a legal policy is yet to be established. This is also confirmed by an email she sent out:

My intent is for discussion to be held by these two Committees on this maternal death in terms enforcing, crafting or amending an HR Policy, to (a) formally/properly recognise medical mismanagement as grounds for termination, (b) determine system for verifying medical mismanagement, and (c) levels of disciplinary measures to be instituted.

Given the decade (plus) age of the SWRHA, I cannot even begin to comprehend this. I now wonder what sort of other policies are absent. Of course, one may rush to blame Ministry of Health, but the RHA Act clearly puts the autonomy of management into the hands of the RHAs.

Doctors wield power, whether we like it or not. And they know it! When they strike (as they do but call it another name since striking is illegal for them), or 'work to rule', patients die. The Ministry cannot fire the lot, though many of us would love to see that happen. Hundreds of patients will be at risk.

Battles between administration which try to seek the interest of patients, and doctors who seek their own interests have always been contentious.

In the end, doctors here will either be forced to see the dismissal of those culpable, at the price of a few more lives, or the Administration will be forced to back down to accommodate them, also at the price of a few more lives.

But watch either way how the same patients at risk in hospitals will be sent to private institutions and get stellar treatment from the same striking doctors - at the cost of the State (taxpayers).

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