Today’s announcement that the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) have withdrawn accreditation and pulled their Registrars from Maitland Hospital unfortunately comes as no surprise for our Union.
We urge management to act now to implement our plan for change at the hospital or they risk losing even more doctors.
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.
Dr Raj Ubeja is ASMOF NSW Doctors in Training Committee Co-Chair:
‘Once again doctors in training are having to pick up the slack when a hospital is not properly staffed, and it has now reached a crisis point.
Doctors welfare and patient safety are at risk and Hunter New England LHD must listen to the Union and our delegates and act now to implement the changes we have recommended.
Doctors in training deserve a safe workplace where they are properly supervised and have the chance to develop their skills to provide the best care to the community.’
ASMOF will continue to work alongside Maitland and HNELHD management to ensure the wellbeing of doctors in training.
ASMOF have also insisted that doctors at Maitland are paid their full entitlements, or we will be escalating the matter to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
18 November 2020
MEDIA CONTACTS: Dr Tony Sara, President, ASMOF- 0417498691/Andrew Holland, Executive Director, ASMOF- 0405276030