BUNDABERG HOSPITAL: A specialist doctor has been sacked after allegations of drinking on the job.
BUNDABERG HOSPITAL: A specialist doctor has been sacked after allegations of drinking on the job. Mike Knott

Hospital says patients a priority after specialist sacked

UPDATE 9AM: WIDE Bay Hospital and Health Service has confirmed a specialist fired for drinking on the job was only working at Bundaberg Hospital for two months.

WBHHS has begun an independent external review of its processes following the termination of the specialist.

Acting Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said the specialist had been required by the Medical Board of Australia to comply with specified conditions on his medical registration.

"The clinician was suspended, then terminated, when he refused to comply with some of those conditions listed with the regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)," Ms Carroll said.

WBHHS is unable to comment further for confidentiality reasons.

Ms Carroll said as per its normal processes, WBHHS had already begun reviewing clinical outcomes and had started an independent external review of its procedures.

"The reviews are in process, so it would be inappropriate to comment on them," she said.

Ms Carroll said WBHHS was constantly looking at how it could improve its quality of care.

"We take patient safety and quality of care extremely seriously, evidenced by the recent release of our second annual Quality of Care Report," she said.

"The report proactively and transparently provides public information about the standard of our care across a range of quality and performance measures. It shows we achieved state and national targets on almost all measures, and in many cases exceeded them."

 

SACKED: A doctor has been fired at Bundaberg Hospital.
SACKED: A doctor has been fired at Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott BUN051016EMERGENCY4

 

EARLIER: A BUNDABERG Hospital specialist has been sacked over allegations he was drinking on the job.

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service has confirmed the doctor was fired by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service last month after a period of suspension.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency records show his medical registration is subject to several restrictions, including some not publicly available because of "privacy concerns".

Conditions that are available publicly include the need for mentoring and to tell the doctor's employer about his registration restrictions.

Sources claim the specialist was required to submit to random alcohol breath tests as a condition of his employment and allege he was fired over fears he was under the influence while at work.

A Wide Bay Hospital and Health spokeswoman would not confirm or deny these claims, citing confidentiality.

But she confirmed the health service was aware of the conditions on the doctor's registration when he was hired.

"(He) was required by the Medical Board of Australia to comply with some conditions on his AHPRA registration when directed by his employer," she said.

"When he refused a direction to comply with the conditions imposed on him by AHPRA he was suspended, then later terminated.

"WBHHS is unable to comment further for confidentiality reasons."

The spokeswoman also declined to reveal whether any complaints or adverse outcome notifications had been made about the physician.

"As per our normal processes, WBHHS is constantly looking at how we can improve our quality of care," she said.

"We have already begun reviewing clinical outcomes and have started an independent external review of our procedures. The reviews are in process, so it would be inappropriate to comment."

Bundaberg Hospital became infamous when surgeon Jayant Patel was charged over the deaths of scores of patients. He served time for the manslaughter and grievous bodily harm of five of them, but his convictions were quashed on appeal.

And last month The Courier-Mail revealed a surgeon who spent years under investigation by AHPRA had been employed by Bundaberg Hospital.



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