Dan Andrews denies feud with doctor who saved his life

Top doctor claims Premier's office is ignoring plea for help

Dan Andrews denies feud with doctor who saved his life
Professor Mark Fitzgerald (left) Premier Dan Andrews after his fall (right)
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Dan Andrews has denied there is a feud between him and the doctor who saved his life after a horror fall.

Alfred Hospital’s director of trauma service Professor Mark Fitzgerald has claimed the Premier’s office was ignoring his calls and emails asking for increased funding.

Fitzgerald treated the Andrews after he was rushed to hospital suffering spinal injuries, a collapsed lung and broken ribs resulting from a fall.

Andrews told the Herald Sun it was “simply not right” that he had been ignoring his doctor’s pleas for funding.

“I don’t think that’s accurate. He has not been (ignored),” Andrews said.

“There was a one-line email sent a couple of weeks ago. That’s been followed up as I understand.

“There’s no quarrel between him and me. He’s an outstanding clinician. He treats and is in charge of treating thousands of people. He’d like an upgrade, and I haven’t finished announcing upgrades, so we’ll wait and see.”

The doctor, however, has told media he had no choice but to speak up because doctors were being forced to work in “prehistoric” operating theatres.

“I’m dumbfounded and I can’t understand why The Alfred hasn’t been promised funding to rebuild operating theatres that are 60 years old and are no longer fit for purpose,” he said.

Mr Andrews said would be very unusual for the government to negotiate with doctors about hospital funding.

“We wouldn’t often though deal with individual doctors. You would normally talk with the board or the CEO,” he said.

“I wouldn’t ring the CEO to get my test results and I wouldn’t necessarily ring a senior clinician about funding.”

Fitzgerald accused the government of “stringing along” healthcare workers.

“Nobody wants to say anything about it, because they’re all too scared,” he said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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