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Medical Indemnity Crisis - Nice Words But No AnswersFri, 03 Oct 2003

A meeting this morning in Manly, Sydney between the Minister for Health (elect), the Hon Tony Abbot and the NSW Chairman of the Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr Charles New produced nice words but no answers to the current crisis to the NSW public hospitals.

Dr New said he was encouraged by the Minister's willingness to listen to the doctor's concerns, but no firm offers were put on the table by the Minister to resolve the crisis. "Sadly the cascade of resignations is likely to continue", Dr New said today.

"Orthopaedic surgeons are looking for a clear and timely pathway of decisive management of this medical indemnity crisis. Without a clear pathway, our individual surgeons cannot resolve this crisis. The impact on the public will be enormous. The surgeons want to deliver expert, timely and affordable health care. This is currently in jeopardy. Bold and decisive leadership at a Federal and State level is the key," Dr New said.

Foundation chairman of the Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr Bruce Shepherd said "inflammatory remarks by Senators Patterson and Coonan about doctors paying for their past mistakes are just that, the truth of the matter is that doctors are being asked to pay for a welfare system for litigation lawyers" Dr Shepherd said.

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