Auditor-Generals report finds junior doctors wellbeing is at risk


The report on the health, safety and wellbeing of nurses and junior doctors in NSW hospitals has revealed unacceptable risks to our junior medical workforce which must be addressed by NSW Health.

The report, released by NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford, has found that over a third of junior doctors were working unpaid overtime on a daily basis, and that almost 40% of the junior doctors had never or rarely received follow-up support after they were involved in a clinical incident.

Dr Raj Ubeja, co-chair of the ASMOF NSW Doctors in Training Committee:

‘This is important and concrete evidence for what we already know. Doctors in training face a lottery in terms of the safety of their workplace, and many of us won’t get access to the resources and support we need to do our job safely.

Unfortunately doctors in training are going to continue to be exposed to health and safety risks if our Award conditions stay the same as they have been for the past 35 years. We have no legal protection against working unsafe hours. We have no committee set up to regularly review our workloads.

We deserve legally enforceable provisions to keep us safe at work.’

ASMOF- The Doctors’ Union, endorses the seven recommendations in the report, including that doctors in training have regular opportunities to report on risks to their psychological health and wellbeing, and we are pleased that NSW Health have accepted all recommendations.

However we do not believe these recommendations go far enough to ensure that hospitals will be safe environments for doctors in training.

We are campaigning for the Public Hospital Medical Officers Award to reflect the modern hospital environment, and to include protection against unsafe hours. ASMOF will be meeting Elizabeth Koff, Secretary of NSW Health on Monday 14 December to discuss how we can progress change urgently.