2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit Report

15 Jul 2012

The 2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit was conducted over a seven day period in August last year.  Sincere thanks go to the more than 1500 junior and salaried doctors from across Australia who took part in the audit.  This is a tremendous effort, contributing to the significance of the survey results.  The results of the 2011 Safe Hours Audit have been released today.  

The survey has been conducted in 2001, 2006 and 2011. The AMA is pleased to note that the number of hospital doctors within the significant and higher risk categories fell from 78 per cent in 2001 to 53 per cent in 2011.

However, some extremes still appear in the data. 

For example:

  • in 2011, 21 per cent of survey respondents had no days free from work during the seven day audit period;
  • the longest recorded shift increased from 39 hours in 2006 to 43 hours in 2011;
  • the maximum total number of hours worked during the audit period actually increased (from 113 in 2006 to 120 in 2011);
  • doctors in the lower risk category are still working shifts of up to 19 hours; and
  • the average of total hours worked in the 2011 audit week for all hospital doctors was 55.1 hours. 

Read more about the results of the 2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit and what it means for junior and salaried doctors here.

The AMA will continue to lobby for improvements in the management of fatigue as a key patient safety issue.

Yours sincerely


Dr Will Milford
Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training