Anaesthetists? solution ?in days

By ZOE SATHERLEY

The anaesthetists' dispute which has crippled Lismore Base Hospital since July 30 looks like it might soon be over.

Anaesthetists' negotiator Dr Michael Levitt described yesterday's meeting with the area health service as 'promising, conciliatory and likely to see a resolution within days'.

For her part, Denice Fletcher, North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) director of clinical operations, concurred that the talks were 'fruitful' and that she was 'very hopeful of an outcome'.

She said that NCAHS chief executive Chris Crawford was out of town on a prior engagement, but that the scheduled meeting with Dr Levitt had been considered important enough for her and Dan Madden, Lismore Base Hospital's execu- tive officer, to get negotiations under way as quickly as possible.

"We have the anaesthetists' offer and are now reviewing it," she said.

Mr Levitt said the offer was 'commercial in confidence' and could not be discussed.

However he said it provided improved on-call payments, ensured safe working hours, and improved the attractiveness of working in the public system, enabling the recruitment and retention of anaesthetists.



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