Queensland’s assistant health minister could resign if the government’s long-running dispute with doctors isn’t resolved.
Chris Davis broke government ranks a fortnight ago by telling doctors at a crowded convention centre gathering he shared their concerns about individual contracts.
The former director of geriatric medicine at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital now says he will “reappraise my contribution” if doctors continue to reject an April 30 deadline to be moved on to the contracts.
His future will also depend on patient safety not being compromised, he says.
“The ultimate decision makers will be the doctors,” Dr Davis said.
“The overall health of Queensland Health is absolutely critical to the wellbeing of Queensland.”
In recent weeks, the Newman government has offered concessions to doctors and is due to pass new legislation on Thursday.
New laws will remove the right of Queensland Health’s director-general to change existing contracts if it disadvantages doctors.
“We’re all on a win-win trajectory,” Dr Davis said.
“We have been able to make progress.”
Still, prominent Brisbane maxillofacial surgeon Dr Anthony Lynham announced on Thursday he would seek Labor preselection to take on Dr Davis in his Stafford electorate.
“The people who live in Stafford will be thinking only of Campbell Newman, they won’t be thinking of Chris Davis,” he said, adding he had misgivings about the government’s failure to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence.
Dr Davis, a first term MP, has lived and worked in the northern Brisbane seat for 20 years, which he holds by 7.1 per cent.