- On May 7, 2019
- May/June 2019
Protections for doctors-in-training
AMA (NSW) has developed resolutions supporting better protections and safer working conditions for doctors-in-training.
Earlier this year, Dr Yumiko Kadota’s blog post “The ugly side of becoming a surgeon” and the significant media coverage that followed it, lifted the veil on some of the difficulties faced by doctors-in-training in Australia, particularly for unaccredited registrars.
Her experiences and the subsequent reaction from within medicine highlighted the need for change. The Alliance’s Doctors-in-Training Committee (DITC) has been a strong advocate for better support from the health system and continues to lobby for greater protections for both unaccredited and accredited registrars.
In response to discussions from the DITC, AMA (NSW) has developed several resolutions.
AMA (NSW) Council:
- Are concerned about the growing cohort of junior doctors working in unaccredited registrar positions and believes that this is a waste of human capital and may be affecting the provision of safe, high-quality patient care. These doctors are in vulnerable positions working in unsafe conditions and have no ability to speak out individually without losing all prospects of their career progression.
- Believes the requirement to work excessive or unsafe hours can amount to bullying and exploitation. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring doctors-in-training are not subject to excessive hours or unsafe work conditions lies primarily with the hospital management and senior medical officers who should be held accountable.
- Supports an independent, transparent inquiry to be undertaken at Bankstown Hospital that is publicly reported.
- Calls for a national review led by the Council of Australian Governments Health Council with a view to ensure that unaccredited registrar positions are minimised across Australia and that these positions are accredited – preferably by respective Colleges where workforce need dictates – but if not, by Postgraduate Medical Councils (HETI in NSW).
- Calls for a review of our industrial Award outside of the NSW Government’s wages policy which incorporates minimum standards with regards to safe working hours, on-call work, training costs and leave entitlements for junior doctors, amongst other issues.
- Calls for a statewide audit to be undertaken by NSW Health of junior doctor hours, which includes not only rostered hours but also unclaimed unrostered overtime, incorporating data such as entries on EMRs.