AMA (NSW) has been key in these recent wins for doctors-in-training

And we are continuing to improve doctor-in-training health and wellbeing by measuring outcomes and holding the system to account through the Hospital Health Check.

Online Unrostered Overtime Claims

During a meeting both DIT Committee Co-Chairs, Dr James Lawler and Dr Sanjay Hettige, had with the Health Minister, they asked for an online claiming system for unrostered overtime and callbacks for doctors-in-training.

Minister Hazzard was very enthusiastic about the idea and, essentially, approved it on the spot.

It went live on Monday the 3rd of February 2020, about a year after the original meeting.

The result is that the transition away from paper claims is now on and, while some hospitals will be faster at this than others, you will now or soon be able to make claims for unrostered overtime and callbacks through Stafflink.

The move to online means claims can be made without paper and from outside the hospital.

In addition to recent changes doctors-in-training won on unrostered overtime, this is another step in making claiming unrostered overtime easier.

Expansion of unrostered overtime work that doesn't require prior approval

Information doctors-in-training supplied during the 2018 Hospital Health Check and the more recent targeted survey on unrostered overtime has resulted in more work by doctors-in-training not requiring prior approval to be paid.

Previously, the list of things not requiring prior approval was restricted to:

  • Medical emergency
  • Transfer of a patient
  • Extended shift in theatre
  • Patient admission / discharge

In 2019, the following types of work were added to that list after successful lobbying of NSW Health, with aid from doctor-in-training feedback:

  • Late ward rounds
  • Hospital-based mandatory training
  • Completion of outstanding transfer / discharge summaries
  • Clinical handover
  • Hospital-based outpatient clinics

Minimum 10-hour breaks between rostered shifts and 14-hour maximum shift duration

In November of 2017, the NSW Health policy document governing doctors-in-training was updated to ensure no rostered shift would last longer than 14 hours and that there must be at least a 10 hour break between rostered shifts.

JMO Wellbeing and Support Plan

Published in 2017, following the JMO Wellbeing and Support Forum in June of that year, NSW Health published the JMO Wellbeing and Support Plan.

This was a significant recognition of the stressors doctors-in-training face and a way forward to both improve doctor-in-training wellbeing and identify necessary changes in the system.