Townsville doctor generic
Townsville doctor generic

‘Doctors will die’ under new laws

MORE doctors will take their own lives if the Queensland Government forges ahead with planned mental health mandatory reporting laws, the state's top doctor warns.

AMA Queensland president Dr Dilip Duphelia will front the Queensland Parliamentary Health Committee on Wednesday to demand decisive action to "save lives".

He said at least four Queensland doctors killed themselves in 2017-18 and at least one suicidal doctor called the Queensland Doctors Health Advisory Program every two months.

Dr Duphelia said the AMA supported all states and territories introducing similar legislation to Western Australia, where doctors are not compelled to report patients who are doctors if they may be suffering from a mental illness.

Dr Andrew Bryant.
Dr Andrew Bryant.

However, if they believe a patient is at risk, they can still make a notification.

Prominent Brisbane gastroenterologist Dr Andrew Bryant committed suicide last year.

News of his passing went global when his wife of more than 30 years, Susan, wrote a heartbreakingly honest email about the circumstances of his death.

Today Mrs Bryant is calling for the end to mandatory reporting, which she believes has contributed to a culture in the medical profession that stops people asking for help.

"It's not just about the privacy issue of your boss finding out about private medical issues but they risk being told they can't work and that they may never be able to work again," she said. "A change in the mandatory reporting requirements would do a lot to create a culture where it is a lot more acceptable to seek help."