Doc­tors to meet over cri­sis at the Royal

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - DAVID KILLICK

A MASS meet­ing of all med­i­cal staff at the Royal Ho­bart Hos­pi­tal later this week will seek so­lu­tions to prob­lems raised by ju­nior doc­tors, Health Min­is­ter Sarah Court­ney says.

Ms Court­ney yes­ter­day met doc­tors at the hos­pi­tal af­ter they raised con­cerns about over­work, poor morale and con­cerns of an im­mi­nent staff ex­o­dus. Up for dis­cus­sion are a re­view of ros­ters to re­duce long shifts and fa­tigue, im­prov­ing staff sup­port, and boost­ing train­ing for ju­nior staff.

The min­is­ter said a sec­ond overnight med­i­cal regis­trar po­si­tion at the RHH would be ap­pointed within a fort­night.

“This po­si­tion will give ju­nior doc­tors ad­di­tional sup­port af­ter hours,” Ms Court­ney said. “The RHH has al­ready moved to re­cruit an ad­di­tional 12 ju­nior doc­tors to as­sist in ros­ter­ing is­sues and ease work­load pres­sures for 2020.”

Ms Court­ney said she was mind­ful that nor­mal staff turnover was a chal­lenge for the sys­tem and she was com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing staff num­bers.

“There is al­ways a de­gree of at­tri­tion among ju­nior med­i­cal staff as some of them are pro­moted in to regis­trar po­si­tions at RHH or re­ceive of­fers from other hospi­tals and choose to pur­sue their ca­reers else­where.”

The AMA said Ms Court­ney must guar­an­tee in­creased teach­ing time for ju­nior doc­tors and not just “mea­sures” to im­prove ac­cess.

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