Statement re Bega orthopaedic surgeon contract not being renewed - Constance

In a media statement this morning regarding the termination of Dr Phoon, “I acknowledge the community has concerns and I have spoken to both Dr Phoon and the Board of Southern NSW Local Health District over the weekend and am aware of their differing views."

“I want to be perfectly clear that health services in our community are a very serious matter and it is important that issues such as this are handled correctly, with proper process.

“I will be seeking two external agencies, the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and the College of Surgeons, to undertake a review of orthopaedic services at South East Regional Hospital (SERH) including the decision by the department to not renew Dr Phoon's contract.

"These external experts are best placed to provide me, and our community with the right advice on the matter.

“I am also assured that changes have recently been put in place to improve the management of the hospital including the very recent appointment (20 February 2017) of Wendy Hubbard as General Manager. I'm advised that Wendy has extensive experience as a senior executive in rural Victoria and is focussed on working with senior medical and nursing staff to improve the overall patient experience and the internal culture of the hospital. A new Executive Director Clinical Operations has also been recently appointed.

“We need to allow for the external reviews to be completed, and the new General Manager enough time in the role to implement change before any further action is taken.

“In the meantime, I ask our health practitioners and surgeons to continue to support our community and maintain their current patient lists.” Media Release

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