NSW doctors in 'Hunger Games' fight for resources
Urgent action is needed to address a workforce collapse in NSW, as doctors say they are competing for resources in a "healthcare Hunger Games".
"Doctors are abandoning the NSW health system - fed up, burnt out, and attracted by better conditions in other states," Australian Medical Association NSW president Michael Bonning said on Sunday.
The peak body called on the government to take action to stop doctors leaving the state in search of better pay and conditions in other parts of the country.
Launching the peak body's election platform, NSW Hospitals: Advanced Life Support Needed, Dr Bonning said the government would only meet the growing patient needs by listening to the medical experts who guided the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our managers, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers innovated and transformed the health system to respond to the global crisis," he said.
"However, that commitment and dedication will be lost unless NSW acts now to support our workforce."
Doctors are fleeing the public hospital system and cutting their hours as conditions become increasingly, AMA NSW vice president and obstetrician Kathryn Austin said.
"We love working with our teams but don't want to be forced to compete for scarce resources like it's the healthcare hunger games," Dr Austin said.
"Our patients deserve better."
The peak body said it supported a proposal from the NSW Labor opposition to scrap the wages cap but did not back the party's proposed royal commission-style inquiry into the state's $33 billion health budget.
"Another inquiry and more reports are a waste of valuable resources," AMA NSW councillor Simon Martel said.
"That is money that could be spent on the system to make improvements to patients' lives immediately."
The party committed to the inquiry earlier this month, saying the system is delivering poor outcomes, despite its major allocation of taxpayer funds.
The commitment came after the Health Services Union called for the royal commission into the budget in a divisive advertisement last year.
The ad depicted a faceless doctor putting a wad of cash into his pocket, and a Mercedes Benz with a personalised licence plate reading DOCTOR1.
The attacks had demoralised doctors and senior specialists, Dr Martel said.