Position Statement

Equal Opportunity in the Medical Workforce - 2012

<p>This document provides guidance for medical workplaces and medical practitioners alike in relation to establishing and maintaining appropriate principles of equal opportunity in the engagement of medical practitioners.</p>

  1. The Australian Medical Association believes that all members of the medical profession are entitled to equal consideration within medical workplaces.
  2. Employers should at all times have regard to the relevant legislation in their State or Territory, or Commonwealth jurisdiction.1
  3. The Australian Medical Association expects medical workplaces to work to achieve fair practices and behaviour, including:
    1. recruitment, selection and promotion practices which are open, competitive and based on merit;
    2. access for all suitably qualified employees to training and development, and career advancement opportunities;
    3. flexible working arrangements that meet the reasonable needs of employees;
    4. appropriate grievance handling procedures;
    5. management decisions being made without bias;
    6. no unlawful discrimination or harassment;
    7. respect for the social and cultural backgrounds of all practitioners including International Medical Graduates.
  4. Issues of equal consideration apply at the time of entry into the medical profession, during career and in the transition to retirement from the profession.
  5. Overall merit should be the overriding consideration of any application for appointment or employment.
  6. Medical practitioners with equivalent qualifications and training, in the same location and with the same experience, should receive equal opportunities for career development and advancement.
  7. Medical workplaces should develop policies which encourage medical practitioners to have appropriate work-life balance.
  8. Medical workplaces should develop policies that minimise the need to relocate and should facilitate relationship support.
  9. Policies and procedures for continuity of patient care must consider and provide for medical staff to have adequate time away from the workplace.
  10. Policies and procedures in medical workplaces should recognise that an important aspect of continuity of care is having adequate time for proper medical handover arrangements.
  11. Medical workplaces employing or appointing medical practitioners should develop rosters that make allowance for flexible working and training arrangements.2 
  12. The AMA acknowledges the importance of mentoring as a means of facilitating career development.
  13. Medical workplaces should develop and make available retraining and other relevant programs to facilitate the re-entry into the medical workforce of medical practitioners whose careers have been interrupted.
  14. Medical workplaces should develop workforce planning policies to provide for medical staff as they approach full retirement or who transition to retirement; such planning ensures that retirements do not adversely impact on the workloads of other doctors.
  15. Ideally, the retirement of medical staff should be planned so that their knowledge is passed on to newly appointed or remaining staff.
  16. The transition to retirement of medical staff should facilitate medical practitioners’ withdrawal from parts of practice which they no longer wish to undertake.
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