I‘LL FIX OUR ROYAL
TALKS with doctors at the Royal Hobart Hospital had been positive and the Government was keen to address their concerns over workloads and training, Health Minister Sarah Courtney said yesterday.
Ms Courtney held meetings with staff at the Royal after a letter raising concerns about working conditions was signed by more than 150 junior doctors.
“The Government understands that they do have a range of concerns, and as a government we are listening to those and taking action,” she said after the meeting.
“We’ve already taken action earlier this week, by saying that we’re going to be recruiting 12 more junior doctors next year, as well as the second overnight registrar.
“I was really pleased with the positive engagement that we had, everyone wants to work together to find solutions.
“We’re very proud of the Royal Hobart, and we want to see great patient outcomes there. So I was really pleased with everybody coming forward with ideas, solutions, but also their honesty and frankness in these discussions.
“I’m really hopeful that these discussions and the work that’s being done right now and the actions that have been taken this week will be seen positively and will also make people feel positive about working at the Royal. It’s a great facility.”
Ms Courtney said there was a range of changes being considered to improve conditions for junior doctors and more would be considered based on further feedback.
Also yesterday, Auditor-General Rod Whitehead released a report into the rostering of specialists in the state’s major hospitals.
He found the system was casual, inconsistent and suffered from poor oversight.
“While the process for establishing and managing rosters is generally defined, it is predominantly manual based and not usually reconciled to hours worked,” he said.
“Such practices means that it was difficult to track changes to rosters and provide transparency across all specialists in the department.”
Timesheets were only used sparodically to show actual hours worked, he said.