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Specialists in Public Hospitals

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I am a part-time specialist (Fractional, VMO, etc) – how many hours should I be working per week?

A part-time specialist has hours of work based on a fraction of a 35 hour week.

The 2002 Heads of Agreement and all Certified Agreements applying to fractional specialists require that all part-time specialists, in conjunction with hospital management, should determine their hospital workload on a monthly basis. Activities to be specifically considered are listed below. Not all areas may be applicable to all specialists.

A. Direct public patient care and related activities

Includes ward rounds, outpatient clinics, pre-operative assessment, operating time, post-operative care, unit clinical meetings, inter-unit consultations, completion of operation reports, discharge summaries, casemix information and management of waiting lists.

B. Management/administrative responsibilities

Duties Associated with management and/or administration of a unit, department or division e.g. roster preparation, budget documents, hospital reports.

C. Hospital Meetings

Attendance at meetings constituted by the hospital or at the request of the hospital, including for example:

  • when appointed to represent the medical staff on a hospital committee
  • when appointed to represent hospital management on a committee
  • business or management meetings of a unit/department/division
  • routinely scheduled meetings with administration
  • meetings of the medical staff group when related to hospital business.

D. Participation in quality assurance activities as required by the hospital

Includes reasonable time directly spent in the collection, analysis and presentation of quality assurance data and attendance at scheduled unit/divisional audit meetings. Also included is:

  • attendance at committees established under ACHS guidelines
  • inter-unit clinical meetings, such as grand rounds.

E. Teaching and research as required by the hospital and not directly funded by the university

F. On-call/re-call –
as per the Lochtenberg Implementation Guidelines 1995

G. Practice in a distant location
– only to be included where an allowance is not being paid.

When calculating the actual fraction it will be clear that some aspects of the routine workload occur more frequently than others. For instance, meetings may occur monthly whereas ward rounds may occur daily or a couple of times a week. Calculations should take account of weekly rosters being transposed on a monthly basis.

It is recommended that hours required to be worked should be determined monthly.

Reference: November 2002 Heads of Agreement Clause 5.27

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