September 6, 2009

Australian doctors admit to exhaustion

More than 100 doctors in the Australian state of Queensland say their long work hours leave them dangerously exhausted.

The Brisbane Courier Mail said in its Monday edition that the Queensland doctors reported their troublesome working conditions in a confidential survey and one doctor admitted the strain has resulted in some patient deaths.

We are killing people, and that's the truth, an anonymous surgical registrar said in the survey.

Nearly 60 percent of the Queensland doctors surveyed admitted to committing errors during medical procedures as a result of fatigue, the newspaper said.

The survey focused on junior doctors at the 173 public hospitals in Queensland three months ago.

Two doctors said in the Salaried Doctors Queensland document that two patients died as a result of their fatigue while on the job, the Courier Mail reported.

Government has committed to employing 3,500 more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in three years, Queensland Health Minister Paul Lucas said of such troubling healthcare reports.