Alliance activities

17-Nov-2017


Over the last couple of months Alliance staff and delegates have been visiting hospitals across NSW to talk to members (and those interested in joining) about the Hospital Health Check (HHC) survey results, to educate them about their rights at work and to speak to final years students about the benefits of the Alliance.

At the latest meeting, a well-attended session at of final year students at St Vincent’s Hospital last Wednesday, Alliance member Jackie Ho spoke to the students about the wonderful learning experiences she had as an intern. She also highlighted how important it is for new doctors to look after their own health and safety.

Jackie told the students “you must take breaks and time out for yourself. If you don’t look after your own health you can’t look after your patients.”

This is what the Alliance has been campaigning for over the last two years - safe working hours for junior doctors.

The Australian and international evidence about the damaging effects of excessive hours of work is undisputed. Our campaign is focused on reducing excessive work hours, increasing available resources and exploring new rostering initiatives as sensible prevention solutions that should form part of a broader range of wellbeing and support mechanisms for JMOs.

The Alliance Hospital Health Check Survey provides clear evidence that junior doctors are working excessive hours.

It has been invaluable holding meetings with junior doctors to explain the results of the survey and what our plan is to address the key risks affecting the health and wellbeing of JMOs.

We proposed many sensible solutions and NSW Health has now listened, agreeing to a number of changes, including mandatory breaks between shifts of 10 hours and capping shift lengths to a maximum of 14 hours.

Jackie also encouraged the students to know their rights and claim their entitlements, telling the audience about how the Alliance has assisted her with her workplace issues. This message is also the focus of the know your rights meetings.

Kerrie Seymour says how important it is for our members to be aware of their award conditions and workplace rights. “Even experienced doctors tell us they were not aware of many of the entitlements or how to review hours paid to hours worked on the staff link employee’s self-service system.”

At the meetings Anita Fletcher also talked about the Careers Advisory Service which aids members with interview techniques and assistance with CVs.

If you would like the Alliance to visit your workplace to talk about any of the issues raised in this article, contact Industrial Organiser Kerrie Seymour via email kerries@asmof.org.au