Burnt-out junior doctors fearful of making a mistake at major Gold Coast hospitals

A REPORT card into the Gold Coast’s two major hospitals has found junior doctors are tired and overworked and terrified it’ll lead to a serious mistake.

The latest AMA Queensland public hospital report card showed more than half of the junior doctors at the Gold Coast University Hospital and more than 40 per cent of those at Robina Hospital are concerned about making a clinical error due to fatigue caused by the hours they work.

Deputy Chair of the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training Dr Marco Giuseppin said the six-year-old University Hospital scored an overall grade of C+, among the worst results in the state, and needed to improve across the board.

Robina Hospital fared a little better in the report card, with the facility scoring an overall grade of B-.

However, it did show a quarter of doctors in training are working a whopping 90 hours of overtime each fortnight.

“New doctors are more likely to burnout, get depressed or suffer anxiety, so it’s important to provide practical support and advice in those early years,” he said

“Doctors in safe, healthy workplaces can focus on providing the best patient care.”

The survey also revealed 14 per cent of Gold Coast Hospital doctors in training had been bullied or harassed, 14 per cent had witnessed bullying and 26 per cent had seen and experienced workplace bullying.

“There are clearly cultural issues still to be fixed,” Dr Giuseppin said.

“It is very troubling that only 25 per cent of bullying incidents are being reported at Gold Coast Hospital and a third of those surveyed felt their safety had been compromised at work.

Instances of bullying were also reported at Robina, with 24 per cent of doctors in training had been bullied or harassed, five per cent had witnessed bullying and 19 per cent

had seen and experienced workplace bullying.

“It is very troubling that only 13 per cent of bullying incidents are being reported at Robina Hospital and a quarter of those surveyed felt their safety had been compromised at work,” Dr Giuseppin said.

The AMA is calling on the state government to expand their wellbeing program, which it claims has been proven to support early career doctors.

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