J U N E 2 0 1 7
M E D I C U S
A M A ( W A ) H O S P I T A L H E A L T H C H E C K
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-
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.
Rosters still a mess
Roster & Workplace Culture
Dr Michael Page
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