Maitland Hospital will lose more doctors without urgent action


Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald reported on ASMOF’s actions to improve working conditions Maitland Hospital, after the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) pulled their Registrars from the Hospital.

The move unfortunately came as no surprise for our Union and we have urgedmanagement to implement our plan for change at the hospital or they risk losing even more doctors. Member for Maitland Ms Jenny Aitchison, MP has told ASMOF she is seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister about the issue.

In September we urgently intervened at the Hospital when a group of Registrars sought Union help, and we uncovered a litany of issues including unsafe hours, inadequate supervision, support & training, and underpayments.

The doctors were concerned that their workloads were so excessive that they did not have time to deliver proper care, with patients not being assessed thoroughly and some missing discharge plans.

As a result of our action Registrars who were taking exams were immediately pulled out of Maitland and rotated back to John Hunter Hospital, so they could be prepare for their exams and be properly supervised. 

ASMOF have since put forward a detailed plan to the hospital and the broader Hunter New England Local Health District to ensure patients and doctors are safer at Maitland. The plan includes hiring two more senior doctors and a boosted roster with five teams of doctors, which will ensure that doctors in training have access to the support and supervision they need.

ASMOF will continue to work alongside Maitland and HNELHD management to ensure the wellbeing of doctors in training.

ASMOF has also been pushing for repayment of wages to doctors in training. Following contact with the HNELHD ASMOF were advised that payments (including retrospective payment) would be paid as at pay period 29/11/20. ASMOF have pushed back on this and requested a priority pay, within three working days.