Hospitals in crisis ahead of Election

The crisis in our public hospitals shows no signs of letting up, and Federal and State Governments are being pressured to act urgently to save lives. Doctors are speaking out to the media on unsafe staffing levels, ambulance ramping, delays in elective surgery and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
The Industrial team at ASMOF are addressing these issues at the workplace level within Local Health Districts, and we currently have disputes running at SCHN, SWSLHD and WSLHD concerning safe staffing and fair working conditions for our members

However, we cannot keep putting out spot fires – our hospitals need to be better resourced.
NSW Health currently has a distorted picture of doctors' hours, as the frequent overtime doctors perform is largely invisible and often unpaid. Accounting for this work and upgrading doctors' Awards to reflect the reality of our working lives will require long-term investment in our health system that will ultimately benefit patients. Our Award negotiations are one way that can pressure the NSW Government to deliver safer care.
The bigger picture that needs to be addressed is the division of State and Federal funding for health, and ASMOF backs health leaders call for an urgent hospital summit to address the funding gaps.
President of ACEM and ASMOF member Dr Clare Skinner has said that doctors at the coalface were desperate for "an integrated funding mechanism that stops the cost and blame-shifting".

However, Morrison is keen to stick to the current  hospital funding agreement between the federal government and the states and territories, under which the growth in costs is capped at 6.5 per cent a year, and the Commonwealth pays 45 per cent of the increase. So far, only the Greens have committed to the 50/50 funding growth model for public hospitals that health leaders are calling for.
The cost pressures of COVID-19 in NSW have also been exposed in the NSW Audit Office report released today. The report found that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit NSW in January 2020 and until 30 June 2021, $7.5 billion was spent by state government agencies for health and economic stimulus, which was funded mainly by borrowings.
Federal AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid has called upon the federal government to extend the COVID-19 funding arrangement, under which the Commonwealth pays half of hospitals' pandemic-related costs - which is due to expire in September.