Media release

Media Statement from Dr Michael Lumsden-Steel - Lead Negotiator for AMA Tasmania and the Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners Society (TSMPS)

Statement from Dr Michael Lumsden-Steel - Lead Negotiator for AMA Tasmania and the Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners Society (TSMPS)

AMA Tasmania is pleased to announce that public hospital doctors have overwhelmingly voted to accept the Tasmanian Governments Salaried Medical Practitioners (SMP) EBA offer following lengthy negotiations.

Dr Michael Lumsden Steel, AMA Tasmania/TSMPS lead negotiator, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations.

"The new EBA package repositions Tasmania to be competitive to recruit and retain more doctors.

"This is a significant milestone for Tasmania's healthcare sector, as ultimately, it will improve healthcare services for Tasmanians.

"To say that we are relieved is an understatement; to have achieved such a sensible, comprehensive, and sustainable investment into the SMP workforce means we can now recruit and retain competitively with other states.

"The government's decision to recognise the needs of a multicultural and flexible workforce is commendable and supports a modern approach to healthcare.

"This positive development will improve many aspects of the healthcare service, promoting inclusivity, recognising the vital roles of all our doctors, including our international medical graduates, and supporting work traditionally added outside of hours.

“The comprehensive package ensures that the Tasmania Health Service (THS) can attract and retain the junior doctors and specialists needed to provide the cutting edge of modern medicine delivery In Tasmania. These services continue to evolve and are underpinned by a robust medical, nursing, and allied health workforce.

“These innovations reinvigorate the healthcare system, reduce the requirement to transfer patient’s interstate and reduce the government's dependence on costly locums.

“It will also support the ICT rollout, facilitate, and modernise THS care delivery, and reduce the reliance on our fractured outsourcing to the private sector.”

Overall, this positive agreement is an excellent incentive to rebuild the workforce and improve healthcare services for the people of Tasmania.

"The new agreement working within the government's parameters has shown tremendous foresight and finally draws a line in the sand and enables us to roll up our sleeves and set about rebuilding our workforce. “We know we need more doctors and improved systems to address the waiting lists for specialists in outpatient clinics - and this agreement will help.

“One of the critical features of these negotiations has been ensuring we are in the best possible position to attract and retain our intern and doctor-in-training workforce – the senior specialist and general practitioners’ workforce of our future, who have been alarmingly en masse moving to other states.

“This new agreement provides key incentives to stay, marking a turning point, enabling us to rebuild our workforce to attract and retain interns and DiTs who will go on to work as specialists and GPs within our communities.”

Although the hard work begins now, the doctors are confident they can progress with their 2023/24 goals.

The government negotiators deserve sincere appreciation for their unwavering efforts and foresight in reaching this outcome within the state government's wage policy's set parameters.

This positive outcome has been achieved by doctors willing to sacrifice some allowances and structural adjustments, facilitating two rises over three during the agreement.

Finally, we look forward to seeing this agreement's positive impact on Tasmania's healthcare sector, particularly following the intense disruption and discourse bought on by COVID.>>>ENDS

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