Bega MP Andrew Constance has called for an external review of the South East regional hospital’s orthopaedic services and the decision not to renew a surgeon’s contract.
Chris Phoon said last week he was given eight days’ notice his contract at the South East Regional Hospital would not be renewed after February 28. He said it was “payback” for “being outspoken on stripping the hospital of its rural contract status”.
My expectation is that cultural issues be addressed within the hospital- Andrew Constance
The head of the hospital’s orthopaedic department said the decision was made “due to a difference in core values”.
Mr Constance said on Monday, after speaking to the surgeon and Southern NSW Health, he wanted NSW Health's Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Royal Australasian College Of Surgeons to reveiw the decision not to renew Dr Phoon’s contract and the hospital’s orthopaedic services.
Mr Constance said an external review was the best solution.
“It is obvious there are two sides here, but it’s important to have this review process,” he said.
“These external experts are best placed to provide me, and our community with the right advice on the matter.
“My expectation is that cultural issues be addressed within the hospital.”
Wendy Hubbard was appointed general manager on February 20, and five new clinical leadership roles, including a new executive director of clinical operations. Mr Constance hoped the changes would lead to better collaboration and urged surgeons not to undertake industrial action.
“The last thing I want to see is lists for surgical procedures cancelled,” he said.
A Southern NSW Local Health District spokesperson said last week services would continue.
“We have highly trained staff who are able to continue with business as usual,” the spokesperson said.
Orthopaedic surgeon Matthew Nott said he has cancelled his operating list for March, and would not return to work unless Dr Phoon was reinstated.
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