Doctors have warned waiting times for elective surgery in the northern suburbs could skyrocket with several orthopedic surgeons refusing to take new contracts at Modbury Hospital.

Former head of Orthopedics in the northern suburbs Dr Rob Atkinson and four other surgeons walked away from their positions at Modbury Hospital last Monday.

He also said another three are still negotiating on their new contracts.

“Most of us… see the situation… intolerable and therefore we have not extended, after about eight weeks of trying to negotiate, so we didn’t just walk away,” Dr Atkinson told 7News.

“It’s not about money, it’s about using resources efficiently with safety, quality, good patient care.”

The doctors’ three-year contracts came up for renewal at the end of June.

SA Health has told 7News that so far two surgical procedures have been rescheduled, but it insists that there will be a very minor impact on patients.

It has said a recruitment drive is already underway to find new surgeons for the hospital.

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