'Flurry of activity' at POW as Executive confront Registrars damning allegations

30-Oct-2020

In a letter that was sent to the SELSHD Executive earlier this month, Registrars at Prince of Wales Hospital anonymously revealed their onerous work demands, including that they were required to be on call for ‘every patient every time’, and were actively discouraged from claiming their entitlements. The Executive have now responded.

The 5 page letter prepared by ASMOF details intimidation, unsafe work practices and Award breaches at POW and Sydney Children’s Hospital. Concerned about repercussions for their careers, Registrars met with ASMOF but did not want to be publicly identified.

Many Registrars are on call across both facilities, and are being called for all patients, inevitably causing interrupted sleep and mounting fatigue. ASMOF was informed that at Orientation, the Director of Surgery told Registrars he expected them “to get called, for every patient who gets admitted to the hospital, at any time”, further adding that “the emergency department has been instructed to call you”, and that, “the Health Minister expects you to be called’. Despite these onerous requirements, the Registrars are not paid for the Remote Clinical Appraisals which they are entitled to.

Yesterday we received an initial response from the Chief Executive of SESLHD, who described the situation as ‘disappointing’. In the response, CE Tobi Wilson confirmed that the hospital is reviewing workloads & rostering schedules to implement in the 2021 Clinical Year, and emphasised that the Executive would not support refusal to pay DIT entitlements.

Significantly, our letter will also be forwarded to the Surgical Program to be considered at the Department Head meeting, after which we will receive a detailed response.

Prior to ASMOF receiving this formal response, Registrars told ASMOF that there had been “a flurry of activity” at POW, and Heads of Department had been asked to respond to admin’s inquiries, including being asked to make a case for more Registrars.

Thanks to all the Registrars who have provided information to ASMOF about these unsafe, unreasonable work demands. We will continue to work with members and management to ensure that the situation is resolved.

Separately, ASMOF has sought and achieved payment of the On Call Allowance for Registrars who are second on call at POW, and retrospective payment of that allowance has now been made.