Board’s actions ‘premature’ handling Dr Vega Vega case

DR MICHAEL Donohue says the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board acted "prematurely and inappropriately" in its handling of the Dr Antonio Vega Vega situation.

The CQ Local Medical Association chairman on Wednesday said that the dismissal of three senior staff from the Rockhampton Hospital would create recruitment issues for the region.

"Fair enough to stand them down but they shouldn't have been named, shamed and sacked until the findings were known," he said.

"Who is going to come to work in Rockhampton if there is a perception that if something goes wrong you will be sacked without adequate investigation?"

Dr Vega Vega, who performed more than 1000 surgical procedures at Rockhampton Hospital, was stood down from his role at on April 29 after allegedly botching four surgeries.

This also led to the dismissal of a senior medical administrator and the hospital's head surgeon.

Dr Donohue and fellow association executive members DrRichard Shepherd and Dr Harley Wilson co-wrote a letter to The Morning Bulletin.

They have gone as far as to suggest the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Board should resign if the judicial findings do not support their actions.

"In this situation involving the dismissal of three senior medical staff prior to the findings of independent investigations, the board acted prematurely and inappropriately," they wrote.

"Should the judicial findings not support their actions we would expect that they resign.

"Little has been made public regarding the facts leading to recent dismissals and it would be inappropriate to comment other than hope that at least the two sides be made available.

"We assume that reasonable proof of guilt rather than innuendo would be a basic precursor to the dismissal of three senior staff by the board."

CQHHB chairman Charles Ware could not respond to the doctors' comments yesterday. He has previously said that the two senior clinicians involved in the case were on temporary contracts, and were not permanent employees.

He said the contracts of temporary staff did not allow for temporary suspension, therefore the only course of action available to the board was the termination of those contracts.



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