Politicians call for truth
The decision by a Queensland Health credentialing committee to limit the care of acute and obstetric patients by long-standing Whitsunday doctor Paul Joice has rapidly become a political issue.
Federal MP George Christensen spoke about the matter in parliament last week and has also written a letter to the State Minister for Health Geoff Wilson, requesting an independent investigation into how the decision was made.
"My office has been inundated by calls from Proserpine community members who are understandably outraged by the decision," Mr Christensen said.
Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt has called upon Queensland Health to make public the material credentialing committee relied upon in making its decision.
"Dr Joice is entitled to request a review of the Queensland Health credentialing committee's decision. Equally, I believe this community is entitled to know why this decision was made," Ms Jarratt said.
Mackay Health Service District Chief Executive Officer Kerry McGovern said the service was aware of Ms Jarratt's request but due to the confidential nature of the information, Dr Joice was required to give consent for this to occur.
"The District has written to Dr Joice seeking his permission to release, to the media, minutes from the committee meetings and other documents the committee considered," Mr McGovern said.
Dr Joice says he does not know what releasing information publicly would achieve.
"I gave the letter to my legal team and they were going to respond," he said.
Meanwhile LNP candidate Jason Costigan says, "We've had 'save our foreshore' [and] 'save our airport', well now it's time to save our doctor." A petition supporting Dr Joice is circulating within the Proserpine community but Dr Joice says this is not through his doing. "I've heard from patients that there's a petition - I haven't seen it [and] I wasn't really keen to run demonstrations or petitions but if people are doing it behind the scenes I've got no say in that and you've got to understand where they're coming from as well," he said.