Tasmania’s North and North-West will lose its only full-time neurologist, with Dr Kurien Koshy saying his cries for help were ignored by the state government.
Dr Koshy has resigned after being stationed at the Launceston General Hospitalfor more than six years.
However, Health Minister Michael Ferguson said he was unaware of any complaints being made by the outgoing doctor.
Dr Koshy said he felt his workload had beenincreasing, particularly in the past six months.
“[But] there have been no efforts from the organisation itself to provide any further help,” he said.
“Ifelt that I should be looking at other options and fortunately I was able to obtain another position in Melbourne where I’m moving up to.”
Dr Koshy said discussions to increase services had been ongoing since he took up the post at Launceston.
“Mainly for increased space in the hospital to expand the services, efforts to recruit more staff –neurologists, specialists, requests to provide a full-time registrar for neurology services so thatphone consults and things for the North-West can be dealt with more effectively.
“If there would have been more efforts to expand the services, yes, I would have considered staying on.”
Mr Ferguson said he asked the THS to encourage Dr Koshy to stay.
“The LGH Director of Medicine Dr Alasdair MacDonald did this and I was subsequently advised that he isrelocating for career advancement reasons in his area of interest,” he said.
“I am incredibly disappointed Dr Koshy has made these comments to the media after choosing to leave Tasmania, instead of raising them directly with either myself, my office or senior THS staff so that we could have considered what more we could do in the interests of our patients.
“Rather than reduce service provision, locum cover will provide care in the interim so that patients are not left in the lurch.”
Dr Koshy said he hadn’t received any clear responses when he asked what would happen with ongoing care for outpatients he had been dealing with.
“I’m unsure of what sort of alternatives they’ve got in place.
“I’m hoping they’ll get some services from the south of the state.”
Dr Koshy is moving to Melbourne in August, but may do fly-in clinics.