Respected eye surgeon Mark de Wet and his wife Melanie have been told to leave Australia.
Respected eye surgeon Mark de Wet and his wife Melanie have been told to leave Australia. Warren Lynam

Outrage over doctor's expulsion

THE threatened expulsion from Australia of a respected Sunshine Coast eye surgeon has sparked outrage from Hervey Bay to Caloundra, as our region continues to suffer an extreme doctor shortage.

“If the BLF did something like this, there would be outrage,” Gympie MP David Gibson said yesterday.

Despite conducting 1870 successful and unsupervised eye operations at Caloundra Hospital over the past three years, Dr Mark de Wet has been told that he is technically not qualified.

Mr Gibson said the Sunshine Coast health region, which includes the whole Gympie, Cooloola and Fraser Coast council regions, was suffering a desperate shortage of doctors.

“One less doctor at the Coast means people have to wait much longer or go to Brisbane for treatment,” Mr Gibson said.

The issue coincides with the complaint of one Gympie resident that his surgeon had been literally falling asleep during a recent examination after working through the night on an emergency shift.

Commenting on the ruling from the eye surgeon's “union” (the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists), Mr Gibson described them as one of the worst standover closed shop unions in Australia.

“The worst industrial closed shop we experience in Australia is the various medical professional colleges,” he said.

“This is just ridiculous. If they have real public safety concerns, they should have acted years ago.

“But if they are doing it only because he went to the wrong university or doesn't have the right school tie or the right friends, it's not acceptable.

“Just because they don't have the word ‘union' in their name, they seem to get more credibility. For this to happen, with our current doctor shortage, is an outrage,” Mr Gibson said.

Queensland Health lured Dr de Wet from his two successful South African clinics in 2007.

Gympie Times


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