The health and safety of our members is our number one issue



ASMOF NSW continues to campaign to stamp out violence against our members and to improve the health and well-being of doctors.

As previously reported we will not step back from our campaign to modernise and improve the Medical Officers Award.

Our claims to prevent unsafe rostering, to cap shift lengths, to allow for mandatory minimum break between shifts and to stop excessive workloads are based on solid Australian and international evidence about the damaging effects of excessive hours of work.

The recent ASMOF/AMA Alliance Hospital Health Check Survey provides further evidence that junior doctors are working too many excessive hours.

We know the existing framework of regulation of hours of work in the Award does not prevent employees working excessive hours and does nothing to help ameliorate these risks.

We also continue push for a reduction in the incidence of workplace violence against members.

As we showed in our submission the New South Wales Parliament’s Inquiry into Violence against Emergency Services Personnel emergency departments have the highest incidence of violence in healthcare, and up to 90% of emergency department staff have experienced some type of violence in their careers, and the rate at which violent incidents occur are 3 per 1000 patient attendances at EDs, which typically equates to one every 1 or 2 days per department.

ASMOF believes that our members’ safety is a priority issue and we want the NSW government to pay attention to a new Victorian government ad campaign aimed at getting the public to recognise and reduce aggression towards health care workers.

The campaign comes after it was recommended by the state's auditor-general and after a surgeon was left in a critical condition thanks to a one-punch attack outside a Melbourne hospital in May.

On top of the campaign the Victorian Government is doubling its investment in making hospitals and mental health services safer, investing an extra $20 million in the Health Service Violence Prevention Fund, taking the total investment to $40 million.

In addition, the Government has announced that several public hospital emergency departments will establish behavioural assessment rooms and existing rooms will be upgraded to meet new standards. These rooms are purpose-built to better assess and manage aggressive emergency department patients who may place themselves, staff or others at risk of harm.