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Stress on Doctors Increases Under Annette King

Stress on Doctors Increases Under Annette King

Revelations that doctors are suffering nervous breakdowns and turning to drug and alcohol in record numbers are a damning indictment on the Minister of Health Annette King, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"The Medical Council's annual report shows there has been a doubling of referrals of "sick" doctors for assessment by its health committee.

"I suspect if such records were available, suicide rates among doctors may well be soaring. Evidence compiled locally eight years ago showed increasing suicide rates. And we know that for many doctors life has been made more difficult since then.

"Doctors who have not left the country in the brain-drain find themselves picking up extra workload and stress. It is time for Annette King to undertake her responsibility as Minister and immediately address the doctor shortage that exists in this country.

"The Minister of Health makes little attempt to address the shortage, obvious now in every speciality including General Practice. Her standard answer is: "It takes 15 years to train a Psychiatrist and 12 years to train a surgeon." What she is really saying is: "Don't look to me for solutions."

"The Minister must take immediate action to ease the administration, clinical and disciplinary burdens that doctors face. The Minister cannot duck responsibility," Mrs Roy said.

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