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Claims Of Bullying And Harassment Within Cairns Health Service


By Fosnez at English Wikipedia - Public Domain

Nearly half of all junior doctors at Cairns Hospital have experienced bullying or harassment in 2018, according to the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland’s annual junior doctor public hospital report card.

The 2018 Resident Hospital Health Check (RHHC), based on a survey of 615 junior doctors statewide, found 57 per cent in Cairns had witnessed a colleague being bullied or harassed.

AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training Executive Committee member Dr Bav Manoharan said the survey revealed concerning statewide trends.

“The Cairns Hospital is particularly disturbing with 53 per cent of junior doctors concerned there might be negative consequences if they reported bullying,” he said.

“Only 54 per cent felt reported incidents of bullying or harassment were appropriately dealt with.”

The 2018 RHHC revealed nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of Cairns Hospital junior doctors felt concerned they could make a clinical error due to fatigue caused by hours worked.

Nearly one quarter (23 per cent) were concerned that claiming overtime may negatively affect their assessment.

Dr Manoharan said the annual RHHC was designed to help junior doctors decide where to work and promote positive change in the hospital system.

“While Cairns Hospital was given a C+ in the RHHC survey, there was some good news including zero percentage of junior doctors having worked more than 90 hours of overtime and 80 per cent were paid for unrostered overtime up from 75 per cent in 2017,” he said.

Dr Manoharan called on the Hospital and Health Service Boards to examine the results of the survey at their upcoming Board meeting.

“We understand the strain that the current junior doctor shortages across public hospitals in Queensland is having on staff morale and on workloads for our doctors. We also recognise the challenges that hospitals have in maintaining appropriate provision of clinical services, whilst ensuring that vital junior doctor entitlements and training opportunities are protected,” he said.

“AMA Queensland will work closely with hospitals to address the areas of concern and improve workplace culture and wellbeing of junior doctors,” he said.

“Best practice policies for workplace wellbeing, such as the 13 recommendations within the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Guidelines, should also be urgently implemented and embraced across all Queensland hospitals.

“These workplace guidelines aim to create work environments based on trust, honesty and fairness and help to manage workload, balance work and private lives, protect physical and psychological safety,” said Dr Manoharan.

AMA Queensland called on the Director General of Queensland Health to establish a dedicated and resourced program to allow these guidelines to be implemented statewide.

AMA Queensland 2018 Resident Hospital Health Check

Caboolture Hospital A+ D- C C C C

Cairns Hospital C C- A- A- C- C+

Central QLD HHS C- C- C+ E+ D D+

Darling Downs HHS B- C C C C C

Gold Coast HHS E D E+ D+ D- D-

Ipswich Hospital C- D+ A C D+ C

Lady Cilento Hospital E- D+ E+ C C+ D+

Logan Hospital B D+ C+ D C C

Mackay Hospital E+ C C C C- C-

Mater Hospital B- D B- A- B- B-

Metro South HHS C- C- C C- C- C-

North West HHS B+ A+ C- A- C+ B+

Princess Alexandra Hospital D- C- C- C D D+

Redcliffe Hospital D C B+ B- B- C+

Redlands Hospital C C B+ C C C+

Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital D+ C C C- C C-

Sunshine Coast Uni Hospital B- D+ B- B D+ C

The Prince Charles Hospital E+ C- D C- D- D

Townsville Hospital C+ C A- A- C- C+

Wide Bay HHS A+ C A- C C B-

Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.

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