Qld’s worst hospitals for fatigue, bullying revealed
PATIENTS could be at risk with junior doctors admitting fears they could make mistakes due to fatigue and extreme working conditions plaguing hospitals around the state.
Training doctors are being stretched to breaking point, with almost half fearing they could make mistakes because of fatigue from working long hours according to the AMAQ's latest Hospital report card.
The 2019 Resident Hospital Health Check also showed bullying and fear of retribution are still plaguing Queensland's public hospitals.
Chair of the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training Dr Hash Abdeen said this was reported by an alarming 70 per cent of junior doctors at The Prince Charles Hospital.
"More than 40 per cent said they worked over 90 hours overtime per fortnight and 22 per cent said their safety had been compromised at work," Dr Abdeen said.
"Only 37 per cent rated their training at TPCH as very good or excellent, down from 55 per cent last year."
And junior doctors have practically stopped reporting when they are bullied or harassed at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH), with the incident reporting rate plummeting from six per cent last year to zero.
The survey showed 16 per cent of junior doctors at TPCH said they had been bullied, harassed or discriminated against (down from 38 per cent last year), 24 per cent witnessed bullying (down from 48 per cent) and 12 per cent had both seen and experienced bullying (down from 29 per cent).
The report showed there was a spike in the number of junior doctors reporting bullying, discrimination or harassment at the Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
Thirty-eight per cent of junior doctors had seen and experienced workplace bullying, up from 19 per cent last year.
"It is extremely troubling that only 27 per cent of bullying or discrimination incidents are being reported at the Queensland Children's Hospital and nearly a third of those surveyed felt their safety had been compromised at work," Dr Abdeen said.
"Notably, 35 per cent of junior doctors at the QCH are concerned about making a clinical error due to fatigue caused by the hours they work."
But 100 per cent said they were given adequate breaks and there was a 19 per cent drop in the amount working more than 90 hours over time per fortnight.
The report also showed nearly two-thirds of junior doctors at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital feared they would make a clinical mistake caused by fatigue.
And there had been a decline in the level of bullying at RBWH with 9 per cent reporting they had been bullied or harassed, down from 44 per cent last year.
"It is very troubling that only 16 per cent of bullying incidents are being reported at RBWH and 60 per cent of junior doctors feared they would suffer negative consequences for speaking up," Dr Abdeen said.
"While 22 per cent felt their safety had been compromised at work, 65 per cent believed their training at RBWH was very good or excellent.
"New doctors in particular are more likely to burnout, get depressed or suffer anxiety, so it's important to provide practical support and advice in those early years."
AMA Queensland used the alarming survey results to again call on the State Government to invest $1.7 million in the Wellbeing at Work program to make it available to all doctors in their first five years.
Queensland Health have been contacted for comment.