Admin support for Staff Specialists


Did you know that staff specialists are entitled to office accommodation and secretarial and administrative support under the Award?

Unfortunately, some hospitals either ignore or misinterpret this entitlement.

You are aware of our current campaign to defend staff specialists access to appropriate office accommodation, well we also deal with many matters regarding access to appropriate administrative support.

Clause 24 of the Staff Specialists’ Award states that “Staff Specialists will have access to such office, secretarial and administrative support as may be reasonably necessary to undertake the requirements of the position”.

So, what does reasonably necessary to undertake the requirements of the position mean?

Some of the factors which would be considered include:

  • Is there appropriate reception coverage, e.g. answering phone calls, managing incoming/outgoing correspondence?
  • Is there adequate Admin cover to ensure that clinic bookings are appropriately made?
  • Are Staff Specialists’ letters being typed & dispatched in a reasonable time frame?
  • Are the Admin Assistants properly trained & equipped to understand the operation of the Department?
  • Are the Admin Assistants located proximate to the Department, or do Staff Specialists have to mount an expedition to find them?
  • Is there confidence that Rights of Private Practice billings are managed accurately and promptly? ASMOF has had reports of not only delayed billings, but also inaccuracies which have been identified in Medicare audits. Some Staff Specialists have reported remaining on Level 1 because they are not confident that billings which are generated by them would be properly processed to allow them to move to Level 2 +.
  • Has the level of Admin/ Secretarial Assistance kept pace with increased workload/ patient numbers/patient complexity/ Medical Staffing establishment?
  • Are Staff Specialists using valuable clinical or non-clinical time to perform basic administrative tasks, or using their own “free” time to ensure that all those administrative tasks are completed?

If believe you have been denied appropriate administrative support, you should contact us at

We are currently in negotiations with several hospitals, including Blacktown Hospital to ensure that Staff Specialists receive the administrative and secretarial support which is necessary to allow them to make their most valuable contribution to the NSW Public Health System.