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Greens celebrate historic victory for junior doctors

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
24 April 2024

In a landmark decision, more than 20,000 doctors who served between 2014 and 2024 will finally receive compensation for years of unpaid overtime and denied entitlements.

Following a protracted four-year legal battle in the Supreme Court, NSW Health will pay a $229.8 million settlement, marking a significant shift in acknowledging the rights and contributions of junior medical staff.

Quotes attributable to Dr Amanda Cohn, Greens NSW spokesperson for Health, former GP and emergency doctor, and Chair of NSW Upper House Portfolio Committee for Health:

“Junior doctors have been exploited for too long. Today, we celebrate the justice they have rightfully earned.

“This is a clear message that exploitation of the skill and commitment of healthcare workers is unacceptable and cannot continue. Unsafe overtime puts doctors’ wellbeing and patients’ lives at risk. It has to stop.

“My own junior doctor years were genuinely traumatic. I became a GP for many reasons, but one of them was to get out of the brutally hierarchical hospital system that made it hard to turn up to work every day. I am overjoyed that this is a step towards changing that culture.

“Moving forward, having to account for the overtime worked by junior doctors means that hospital management will have to work to reduce it. This will make hospitals safer for staff and for patients.

“This result wouldn’t have been possible without brave doctors willing to stick their necks out for the class action, despite the repercussions it could have for their careers, and the collective work of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation (ASMOF). Their actions have paved the way for a safer working environment for all healthcare professionals.

“The Greens remain committed to advocating for a healthcare system that respects and supports its workers, ensuring safe working conditions and fair compensation. Today's victory is a significant step forward, but there is still much work to be done, in particular to address bullying and harassment experienced by junior doctors, and for safe staffing ratios and a meaningful pay rise for nurses and midwives,” said Dr Cohn.

 

You can keep up to date with all the work the Greens are doing in Health here.


Media contact: Josh Appleton - [email protected]

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
24 April 2024
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Greens celebrate historic victory for junior doctors

In a landmark decision, more than 20,000 doctors who served between 2014 and 2024 will finally receive compensation for years of unpaid overtime and denied entitlements.