The Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ASOS) has called on the Qld Health Minister to urgently resolve his dispute with the Qld Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs).

Central to the dispute is the provision of specialist medical services to provincial centres throughout Queensland. Under the previous agreement which expired in February 2009 Queensland Health was to address incentives to encourage and nurture specialist services in centres across Queensland such as Mt Isa and Rockhampton. They have failed to do so.

Around 100 VMOs are reported to be committed to resigning from the Qld public hospital system in protest at the failure of the Qld Government to deliver a workable VMO Agreement.

“There has been no agreement between Qld Health and VMOs in the last 18 months despite a submission from the doctors in June 2008. This is no way to run a health service for the patients of country Queensland or to address the future needs of the regions”, National Chairman of ASOS, Dr Gary Speck said in Melbourne today.

We urge the Qld Minister for Health, the Hon Paul Lucas to intervene; addressing the concerns specialists have for their patients now and in the future, and ensure a satisfactory conclusion to this dispute.