AMA (NSW) President, Dr Danielle McMullen, says the Berejiklian Government’s freeze on public sector wages is inappropriate in the face of the incredible work of health and medical staff in containing COVID-19.
“NSW doctors-in-training, in particular, have been bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While they have not been laid off, they can’t work from home, they’ve had their education and hopes for career advancement paralysed by the crisis, and they’ve been taking care of some of the sickest people in the country.
“They have also been placing themselves at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 to do so.
“Disappointingly, the NSW Government has chosen to freeze the wages of all public sector workers, also including senior doctors, nurses, and teachers.
“This follows nearly a decade of wage growth for the lowest paid doctors-in-training in the country being capped at 2.5%.
“This means they have effectively been earning less year-on-year,” Dr McMullen said.
“There is already evidence of a brain drain effect this is having on medicine in NSW,” AMA (NSW) Doctor-in-Training Committee Co-Chair, Dr James Lawler said.
“Doctors-in-training interstate are better paid and enjoy better conditions than my colleagues in NSW.
“I stay out of care for my patients but I could be earning twice as much for the same work in another state and not face the costs of living in Sydney,” Dr Lawler said.
“Other states present a strong lure to doctors-in-training in NSW,” AMA (NSW) Doctor-in-Training Committee Co-Chair, Dr Sanjay Hettige, said.
“NSW doctors-in-training work under conditions that haven’t changed significantly in more than 20 years.
“They haven’t kept pace as the medical workforce has changed or kept up with our needs, especially the greater numbers of women graduating med school.
“Minister Hazzard has worked to support changes for doctors in training in NSW, as a result of lobbying James and I have been involved with.
“However, that important work risks being undermined by this decision,” Dr Hettige said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955