Great Win for JMO Health and Wellbeing


The NSW Government has released the JMO Wellbeing & Support Plan:

A key feature of the Plan is that the Government has agreed to implement two of our most important claims from Award negotiations.

NSW Health has amended the Employment Arrangements for Medical Officers in the NSW Public Health Service to guarantee the following:

  1. Employees must not be rostered for shift periods totalling more than 14 consecutive hours (inclusive of meal breaks and handover), 
  2. and Rosters must be arranged so that there is a break after rostered shift periods of at least 10 hours.

This is an enormous victory for our members.

In addition to these wins the Government has committed to the following

1. Mandatory reporting changes

The Ministry will action amendments to the mandatory reporting legislation to exempt treating practitioners from the mandatory reporting notification requirements in cases of impairment.

2. Rostering review and safe hours policies and practices

The Ministry of Health will conduct a review of JMO rostering practices and undertake an investigation into unclaimed, unpaid hours worked and use the information gathered to review policy on safe working hours and un-rostered overtime.

3. NSW Health JMO Your training and wellbeing matters' survey

The Ministry will conduct an annual survey of JMOs aimed at gathering feedback on four key areas:

  • The quality of supervision, education, and training provided to JMOs
  • JMO welfare and wellbeing
  • The impact of initiatives to improve JMO wellbeing
  • Career intentions
  • This is different to the Hospital Health Check survey which is run by the Alliance, focussing more on training and workforce planning. It will replace the HETI JMO census.

    4. JMO Recruitment Governance Unit

    The Ministry will establish a new JMO Recruitment Governance Unit to improve recruitment practices.

    5. Recruitment and interview processes

    The Ministry and Medical Colleges will work together to develop strategies ensuring that discriminatory practices are eradicated from the JMO recruitment process.

    6. Expansion of training contracts

    The Ministry, Medical Colleges, and LHDs will co-operate to provide more length-of-training contracts, rather than making JMOs re-apply every year or two.

    7. Parental leave policies

    The Ministry will improve policies and support for maternity and paternity leave to reduce difficulties and inequity in accessing these important entitlements.

    8. Blackdog Institute partnership

    The Ministry is partnering with the Blackdog Institute to develop measures to help encourage JMO wellbeing.

    9. Development of local support programs

    The Ministry, HETI, and other health agencies will develop mentoring and other peer support schemes.

    10. Communications and education campaign

    The Ministry will develop a communication and education campaign to help you know where and how to get help when you need it.

    We will also be part of a monitoring process and we will continue to work with the Ministry on better management of un-rostered overtime and on-call demands.

    These successes are the result of over two years of hard work, campaigning to win improvements for our JMO members.

    As ASMOF President Tony Sara said in June it was time to change the game. And whilst we should be proud of these wins, there is more work to be done to improve JMO working conditions. But this is a great start.