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Specialists in Public Hospitals

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Working as a specialist in a Victorian Public Hospital

Specialists working in public hospitals in Victoria are engaged as:

  •  full time employees (described as full time specialists, whole time specialists, or staff specialists), or
  •  part-time specialists (described as fractional specialists, VMOs, sessional specialists, or part-time specialists).

In rural Victoria many doctors are engaged on “fee for service” contracts, either as employees or as independent contractors. As a general rule those specialists employed and paid on an hourly basis (full time or part-time) are employees whilst those on “fee for service” contracts are independent contractors.

There are exceptions, for example, at the Mildura hospital where fee for service VMOs are engaged as employees.

Employed specialists have their employment regulated by:

  • The National Employment Standards of the Fair Work Act 
  • A state-wide Enterprise Agreement
  • A number of pre-existing Collective Agreements
  • Common law contracts/letters of appointment  which provide further detail not dealt with in the Enterprise Agreement

For full time specialists, statewide salaries are minimum weekly base rate payments required to be made for any full time public hospital specialist.

For fractional specialists, the statewide minimum hourly rates of pay are generally the actual rates paid for the work done. Out-of-hours payments such as on-call (exclusive, consultative and stand by) may differ from hospital to hospital and unit to unit.

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