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Top paediatrician resigns amid row between Sydney children’s hospitals

Email Sydney Children's Hospitals Network chief steps down amid escalating battle

Updated June 12, 2019 19:41:35

Sydney Children's Hospital Photo: A battle over cardiac care between Sydney's two children's hospitals peaked last month. (AAP) Related Story: 'Anger and sadness': Why Sydney's two children's hospitals are at war Map: Sydney 2000

The head of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network has resigned after a three-decade career in paediatric health amid tensions between the city's two children's hospitals.

Key points:

  • Michael Brydon is stepping down from his role at the network that governs Sydney's two children's hospitals
  • The hospitals have been at loggerheads for several months over the merging of cardiac care
  • The hospital at Randwick voted last month to leave the network

Top paediatrician Michael Brydon has chosen to pursue "new opportunities" in child health care according to a statement from the hospital network.

He had been on leave to care for his wife for two monthsbefore the announcement and said his resignation brought "mixed emotions".

"I have decided to step down a bit earlier than I originally expected, to seek some other opportunities," Dr Brydon said in an email to his colleagues.

"I wish you all every success and happiness in the decades to come and I hope that you get to look back one day and smile with the same pride I now enjoy.

"I would particularly like to thank the ministry, the board and the executive team for being so supportive in these recent months."

Dr Brydon worked at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick for 27 years before he was appointed chief executive of the hospital network.

Dr Michael Brydon Photo: Dr Michael Brydon was a "standout paediatrician" according to the Health Minister. (Supplied: Children's Hospital at Westmead)

Last month, 100 senior doctors from Randwick voted to leave the network, which also governs the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Doctors described the vote as "last-ditch effort" to become autonomous after the two hospitals' cardiac departments were merged.

They argued Randwick had lost a significant amount of referrals since the amalgamation and claimed patients were solely sent to Westmead.

However, the Westmead Hospital said the vote was a "huge distraction" and that it was "sad" the issue had escalated to such heights.

Opposition health spokesman Walter Secord lashed out at the Government and said the hospital dispute "lay at their feet".

"The bottom line is the State Government must resolve this issue — this is about paediatric, cardiac services," Mr Secord said.

He blamed a "lack of funding and support" for pitting doctors at the two hospitals against one another.

"This situation is bad for the doctors, and it's bad for the patients," he said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he respected Dr Brydon's decision to step down.

"Michael Brydon is an extraordinary and compassionate human being who I first met more than 30 years ago," Mr Hazzard said.

"He has made a decision, which I respect, but I am hopeful that he will continue to serve the public in some way."

Topics: health, healthcare-facilities, sydney-2000

First posted June 12, 2019 18:58:25

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