JMO Wellbeing and Support Forum - 6 June 2017




The NSW Ministry of Health will be hosting a high-level forum on 6 June 2017 to discuss the wellbeing of Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) working in NSW Health.

As you are aware over the last two years ASMOF has been actively campaigning to address issues affecting the health and wellbeing of junior doctors – with a focus on reducing bullying and harassment and trying to address the issues of safe working hours.

Following several recent junior doctor suicides in NSW, the new Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard asked the Ministry of Health to examine options and prepare a plan to improve support mechanisms for JMOs.

ASMOF has been part of an Advisory Group tasked with developing an agenda for the Forum and to give guidance and feedback on potential solution items to go into the Plan.

ASMOF believes it important to look at and address the many factors that affect the health and wellbeing of JMOs.

An analysis of the relevant literature shows that unsafe working hours and practices are a significant factor in the health and wellbeing of JMOs. This includes the impact of long hours, sleep deprivation, estrangement from support networks, fear of making mistakes, harassment and bullying, litigation related stress and high stakes examinations and competitive nature of workplace

The literature also suggests that the way to address work environment stressors includes: reducing excessive work hours, increase available resources, explore new rostering initiatives, roll out anti-bullying/harassment cultural initiatives and look at what extra support can be provided at key transition/high stress points.

ASMOF hopes that the Forum on 6 June will address the key issues that affect the health and wellbeing of JMOs to identify further actions to reduce the risk to the Health and safety of junior doctors.