Hopes to ease Kyneton hospital rift

Health Minister David Davis has said a new directorial appointment at Kyneton hospital will help fix an ongoing rift between local GPs and the hospital administration.

Doctors from four practices in Kyneton and Woodend wrote to Mr Davis about serious concerns they have with management at Kyneton District Health service.

They say a lack in communication has resulted in a drastic reduction in services at the hospital. Woodend GP Christopher Atkins was one doctor who signed the letter of no confidence.

“The main issue as I see it is one of poor communication between the visiting medical officers, management and the board,” he said.

“We are not critical of the clinical care provided by the nursing staff.

“They are doing a good job under difficult circumstances, but we are critical of the management.

“We believe range of services has shrunk quite considerably over the last three years, particularly surgical services and obstetrics.”

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Davis said his department was working through issues at the hospital and he had met with the CEO.

“These relationship issues can have an impact on the services in a town and we are determined to deal with that matter,” he said.

“There is a new acting director of medical services beginning at Kyneton soon... and that I think 

will make a significant difference.”

Kyneton District Health Service chief executive officer Jennifer Gale also issued a statement yesterday saying she was disappointed staff had gone to Mr Davis without first raising the matter with her.

“We value the support GPs provide to Kyneton Hospital and I would urge those unsatisfied doctors to meet with me so I can 

clearly understand the issues that are causing them concern,” she said.

But Kyneton GP Christopher Priest said previous mediation with hospital management had failed.

Dr Priest said he felt doctors and nursing staff at the hospital were acting too independently and making decisions without consultation.

“Patients might come in quite sick and they might transfer them without letting a doctor know first,” he said.

“Another concern is ambulances are bypassing the hospital and going to Melbourne and Bendigo because there are not the services.”

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