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Nearly Half Of Junior Doctors Witnessed Bullying At Uni Hospital

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Nearly half of all junior doctors at Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) have witnessed a colleague being bullied or harassed, 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, also found 28 per cent of junior doctors employed by SCUH had personally experienced bullying, discrimination or harassment.

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

“The SCUH is particularly disturbing with 62 per cent of junior doctors worried about negative consequences if they reported bullying,” he said.

“Only eight per cent felt reported incidents were appropriately addressed.”

The 2018 RHHC revealed one third (34 per cent) of SCUH junior doctors felt concerned they could make a clinical error due to fatigue caused by the hours they work.

More than one third (35 per cent) were concerned that claiming overtime may negatively affect their assessment.

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

“Overall, SCUH was scored a C and there was some good news in the report. For instance, only six per cent of junior doctors had worked more than 90 hours and 82 per cent had been paid for unrostered overtime,” 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 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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