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J U N E 2 0 1 7

M E D I C U S

13

A M A ( W A ) H O S P I T A L H E A L T H C H E C K

F

ull-time work is so deeply ingrained as the unbending

norm in our public hospital system that administrators

might go into conniptions if things were any other way,

fearing a post-apocalyptic world of part-time, uninterested

employees wandering in from time to time without shoes and

with a malodorous, screaming child or two in tow, demanding

special favours and roster changes on a daily basis. Such

fears are anachronistic and unfounded, and have nothing to

do with clinical suitability and the needs of the workforce.

Who is best-placed to assess whether a particular job could

be safely and effectively performed by doctors employed on

a part-time basis? The doctors working those jobs right now.

So, we asked the respondents to the AMA (WA) Hospital

Health Check the simple, objectively-worded question:

Should part-time work be available to doctors working at

your level in your specialty or department?

Every specialty, age bracket, and professional level was

clearly supportive of their job being made available on a

part-time basis, including those doctors with no intention of

working part-time themselves. (In fairness to my Pathology

colleagues, who appeared the least enthusiastic, the

67 per cent “Yes” rate reflected the sample size, with a single

respondent answering “No”. It wasn’t me!)

The private sector is moving towards flexibility as the norm,

because it ultimately benefits both the employer and the

employee. We should, too. Most doctors would still choose

to work full-time, but there would be improved engagement,

commitment and morale in the substantial minority who

require arrangements currently considered to be “non-

traditional”.

W

ith the introduction of the 2016 EBA came the

expectation that rosters would be published more

than 21 days in advance – an expectation that has left the

majority of DiTs wanting. Of the surveyed respondents,

there were more DiTs receiving their rosters less than seven

days in advance than those receiving their roster on time –

21 per cent versus a measly 15.5 per cent.

Receiving a roster is important as it allows us to plan our

study, our weekends, our lives. Moreover we would expect

that the roster we receive is accurate. This isn’t the case for

a huge 38 per cent of DiTs who indicated in the Hospital

Health Check that the hours they were expected

to work was beyond those stipulated on the roster, with

either a routine start earlier than stipulated or a routine

finish beyond knock-off time.

Access to Annual Leave, issues surrounding unpaid

overtime, the squeeze on training positions, flexible work

arrangements and doctor wellbeing are at the top of the list

of priorities for DiTs. This is the call to action from your junior

doctors. Are you listening?

For the Hospital Health Check Survey results, see page 14.

Part-time work

fears unfounded

Rosters still a mess

Roster & Workplace Culture

Dr Michael Page

Co-Chair,

AMA (WA) DiT Committee

Dr Rebecca Wood

Chair, AMA (WA) DiT Hospital Health Check Sub-committee

Putting together the Hospital Health Check Survey would not have been possible without the hard work of the AMA (WA) DiT

Welfare Sub-committee, Dr Daniel Dorevitch, Dr Michael Page, Dr Chris Wilson and Mary Waldron. The success of the survey

is down to each of the doctors who filled it out – thank you. We hope to see the impact of the survey in the coming months.

92% opposition for proposed consultant

pre-approval of unrostered overtime