LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I ENCOURAGE every staff member and senior doctor unhappy with their lot at Central Gippsland Health to step up, be counted, be brave and speak out.
The pity is that there is a roll call of former Sale hospital senior doctors, surgeons, other specialists, senior nurses and allied staff, including senior pharmacists, who are spread elsewhere and so unlikely to want to complain.
I can understand the reluctance to comment.
The 150th celebration of Sale hospital provides an appropriate time to reflect and compare the differences between then and now.
In past years a broken bone could be fixed in Sale; now fractures have to be sent to Traralgon.
There are now so many transfers out to other hospitals, when in past years it was a rarity.
In the last few days I was at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons speaking with the president of my college about rural surgical matters, as I am a member of the RSS Rural Surgery Section that advises on surgical workforce and capability in rural hospitals, and discussion turned to the situation at Sale hospital.
In the current situation with an unstable surgical situation and a roster filled mainly by locum surgeons on a week-to-week basis, suitability for training the next generation of surgeons is obviously concerning.
If accredited surgical training registrars are removed, this will immediately and directly impact on services, and will also make the hospital less attractive for prospective senior staff.
There is always hope and an opportunity to rebuild, but I believe an independent inquiry should be established, as happened up the road in Bairnsdale.