Two far north Queensland doctors, suspended after speaking out about the handling of Australia’s latest Ebola scare, admit they were unwise to do so.
Two suspended Queensland doctors admit it was unwise to publicly comment about Australia’s latest Ebola scare.
The unnamed doctors have been stood aside on full pay after they raised concerns about the case of Sue Ellen Kovack, a Cairns nurse who recently returned from Ebola-affected Sierra Leone on a Red Cross deployment.
Two rounds of testing have cleared Ms Kovack of Ebola after she developed a low-grade fever days after travelling home last week.
The local Senior Medical Staff Association unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday night saying the two doctors admit their comments were unwise.
“The two senior clinicians involved were commenting on a rapidly evolving situation and with the benefit of hindsight have acknowledged that this was unwise,” the SMSA said in a statement.
The organisation has called for the Cairns Hospital and Health Service to deal locally with the two doctors’ possible breach of the Code of Conduct.
The SMSA has also agreed to create a process to responsibly release statements in future.
Queensland’s Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said details of cases must be presented in an accurate, timely and authoritative manner and welcomed the SMSA resolution.
Meanwhile a separate, independent panel would review the handling of the Ebola case, with terms of reference outlined by the department’s Chief Operations Officer Dr Michael Cleary.
It will involve infectious disease and clinical governance experts.