The AMA’s National Code of Practice - Hours of Work, Shiftwork and Rostering for Hospital Doctors (the Code) responds to ongoing concerns about working hours and safe practice. It acknowledges the special characteristics of the hospital sector as well as managing the risks associated with shiftwork and extended hours for hospital doctors and doctors in training.
Along with changing attitudes to the ethic of safe hours, increasing numbers of prevocational and vocational trainees, and a growing emphasis on efficiency within the hospital sector, the Code has been instrumental in shifting workplace practice without the need for the rigid restrictions on working hours that have been introduced in Europe and the United States. However extremes in hospital doctor working hours still persist and many hospital doctors continue to work rosters that place them in higher risk categories.
This Code has been revised in 2016 and provides practical guidance on how to manage fatigue and eliminate or minimise the risks associated with shiftwork and extended working hours.