A Lot to Worry About in This Story

Doctors in Australia’s government-run hospitals are killing patients because they’re exhausted, says an Australian doctors’ union.

The government’s response? Doctors should drink more coffee, and a different branch of government should run the hospitals.

From Reuters:

Exhausted Australian doctors have been told to drink up to six cups of coffee a day to stay awake during extended shifts, building pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to seize control of state-run hospitals.A document on fatigue management released by health officials in Queensland state recommended doctors ingest 400 milligrams of caffeine to stay awake on the job, or the equivalent of six cups of coffee, after warnings that patients were dying.

“For management to just say go and have a cup of coffee and get over tiredness, it cheapens the whole issue,” Australian Medical Association Vice President Steven Hambleton told Reuters.

“We are talking about serious issues here, and this is not just a serious suggestion at all. It can’t be a weakness to say you’re dog tired,” he said.

The recommendation followed warnings from a union representing Queensland doctors this week that public hospital patients were dying because dangerously tired medics were being forced to work up to 80 hours without a break…

You can read the rest here, but before you do, contemplate the following two concepts: “doctors’ union” and “strike.” Yikes.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.