Our local health services have taken another hit with South East Regional Hospital Orthopaedic Surgeon, Chris Phoon, being told not to return to work next week. Our community can’t afford to lose his services.
It is my understanding that there have been no problems raised about Dr Phoon’s medical skills. He is regarded by his colleagues at the hospital as an extremely good doctor who is also great with his patients.
Most disappointingly, it would appear that there has been no attempt to sit around a table and resolve any perceived issues.
Orthopaedic Surgeons are the most in-demand service at the hospital and we know that it has been really tough to get Orthopaedics to the South Coast with a recently advertised position only receiving one applicant.
I understand that one option to deal with losing Dr Phoon would be to replace his position with Locum’s - this would be an unnecessary and expensive way to proceed. It also penalises patients in terms of follow up.
I will attend the upcoming community meeting on this matter but the strong feedback I am already getting in my electorate office is - the community do not accept this decision and the administrator needs to reverse it.
I want to make it clear that this is not about politics, I’m sure my State Government colleagues will be just as concerned about this matter as I am. I am hoping to organise a meeting with NSW Health Minister Hazzard in the coming weeks. Media Release - Mike Kelly MP Eden-Monaro
Editors Note: An online petition has been started that will be delivered to the NSW Health Minister SAVE OUR DOCTOR PHOON AND HAVE AN ENQUIRY INTO BEGA HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT Our community here in the Bega Valley has been dealt another blow with the sacking of a highly skilled surgeon because he dared question hospital management. A pay back move that will leave this valley and its residents with one less skilled Doctor at a time when we are finding it hard to attract medical experts to the region. Dr Phoon has made his life here by settling his family in the Bega Valley and is now being "sacked" because the area health service management in this area are out of control and out of their depth. This Doctor dares to actually care about the people who are his patients and wants to see the best outcome for all the people who need not just his services but medical attention in the Bega Valley. Please sign the petition even if you don't live here as this is a way of showing people in these health service management positions everywhere that we the people are in charge and we don't care if their ego has been hurt. The waiting lists here are already long enough and this decision will impact all of those people living in pain every day. All because some small minded health service manager thinks he/she is above being questioned and above taking advice from true experts on improving our health service for our wonderful medical staff and their patients.