HALF the state's [South Australia] public health system anaesthetists are set to resign as the state's health crisis lurches to a new low.
The dramatic move follows the resignation of 44 emergency department doctors yesterday, and threatens to throw the health system into turmoil.
Like the emergency doctors, the anaesthetists will give two weeks' notice. Union officials initially planned to hand over the signed resignation letters to the Government this afternoon, but that action is now expected to take place on Monday.
Dr Dave Sainsbury, Director of Anaesthesia at the Women's and Children's Hospital, said a shortages of anaesthetists was putting patients' safety at risk, forcing practitioners to hand in their resignations.
...."That's going to cause problems with patient safety and with the supervision of trainees," he said.
"There are serious issues with the delivery of care."
With so many doctors threatening to leave the system, Health Minister John Hill said wards could close.
"I'm really appealing to (doctors) to put the interests of their patients first," he said.
"We believe the industrial relations process will deliver to them a very good outcome.