I don't think healthcare workers should get free stuff

I don't really think frontline healthcare workers should get free stuff or special discounts.

Healthcare workers are some of the only people in the country with stable employment right now.

The entire service industry is doing it tough and centrelink lines are curling around the block, yet we are the ones getting discounted food and free coffees.

My colleagues in ICU and I are very grateful for the free food but I think it would be a much better use of people's resources and goodwill to help out the less fortunate in this difficult time.

Comments

              • +2 votes

                @p1 ama: Hey, took me a while to get back to this. I'm not sure what the other gent below me is talking about but most of my colleagues don't go into the field for women or the "fantasy" of it all.

                It's most certainly a popular career choice for high achievers, as you've said. It's a career that offers constant challenge and mental stimulation, and it's extremely broad in it's scope. You can literally be operating 4 days per week, or sitting behind a microscope each day. It's varied and caters for a wide variety of interests. I guess my closest comparison would be if "engineering" was a unified degree, and you specialised into mechanical/electrical/whatever 10-15yrs after uni. It's just the way that the career is structured, we are driven into all applying for the same limited spots in uni despite us wanting to end up in surgery/medicine/GP/pathology/whatever. Hopefully that made sense.

                Then there is the remuneration. It's great as a consultant, 10-15 yrs after med school. Junior docs earn relatively little. There is immense pressure to not claim overtime at the risk of pissing off your department heads. Factoring in unpaid overtime, my wage was about $28/hr last year. That includes 14hr shifts of being one of 6 docs in a 600bed hospital, commencing CPR and resus alone, performing procedurres with minimal supervision, facing violence in ED, and now being coughed and spat on by disgruntled patients who don't meet COVID testing criteria. I'm from NSW, and we're the worst paid state in Aus so my perspective may be saltier than my Victorian colleagues. Half our salary packing benefits are taken by NSW health, we're currently in the process of losing our mandated raise as per our NSW treasurer, and many other benefits are being withdrawn.

                Long-winded and pointless rant aside, I'd like to think the general public can see that most of us doing go into it for he money. You make a great point about teachers, and I come from a family of teacher so I appreciate their sacrifice too. I think if teaching was bottlenecked at entry and then career diversification occurred years after graduation, then there too would be a higher demand.

                •  

                  @Liqqeh:

                  Then there is the remuneration. It's great as a consultant, 10-15 yrs after med school. Junior docs earn relatively little.

                  I appreciate your reply. I think what I was originally trying to say is that pay is ultimately driven by the need for a service. I understand that junior doctors are underpaid for their ability, but the very high salary that many doctors will get later on in life needs to be taken into account as well.

                  For example, in regards to your earlier statement,

                  A first year doctor earns $3/hr more than a TAFE trained nurse who studied for 1 year. Get a little perspective.

                  This doesn't really paint the full picture because you have to take into account the present value of the decades of higher pay that the doctor will eventually earn afterwards. When I was in uni, I still remember someone trying to convince me that a graduate investment banker earns less per hour than a retail clerk. But people don't become doctors or investment bankers because of their high initial pay, but rather, because of those (admittedly very far out) future benefits.

                  I'm from NSW, and we're the worst paid state in Aus so my perspective may be saltier than my Victorian colleagues. Half our salary packing benefits are taken by NSW health, we're currently in the process of losing our mandated raise as per our NSW treasurer, and many other benefits are being withdrawn.

                  On a personal level, I hope that doctors can get paid more. They perform an important role. However, I would also say that about almost every other vocation. Unless someone is paid some excessively ridiculous amount, my personal gut reaction would always be to think that they deserve higher pay.

                  However, putting my professional economist hat on, I can't help but feel that the market has largely sorted this out already. The current renumeration for doctors is already high enough to attract the best graduates, competition for entry into medical school is extremely fierce. I'm sure you'll admit that there are far more competent and smart people who want to become doctors than we could possibly train or employ. I'm just not sure how to square those two things.

                  I actually very much sympathise with doctors. I'm an academic, a job which also requires extensive training (e.g. for me - 3 yrs undergrad + 2 yrs masters + 4 yrs PhD) and per hour I probably get paid less than the guy/gal holding the "SLOW" sign at the construction site down the road. It does strike me as unfair sometimes, but on introspection, I could go down there and apply for that job. But for whatever reason, I don't want to. Maybe the reason why those guys get paid more is actually because there's just no supply.

                  I don't know - just food for thought. NB, I'm just raising this as something interesting to discuss. I'm not saying that doctors don't deserve a pay rise.

            • +3 votes

              @Liqqeh: Junior doctors are still in training. Many other careers get paid zero while training. How's that for perspective?

              Honestly junior doctors do work very hard, however you cannot simply discount their whole-of-life earnings. Science graduates, or law graduates, or pharmacy graduates earn even less. Compared to 99.5% of Australians, people with an MBBS earn very well.

              •  

                @lunchbox99:

                Many other careers get paid zero while training

                Which "many" careers are they?

                • +2 votes

                  @serpserpserp: Virtually every other career gets paid less as a graduate and almost none are paid while still training.

                  Refer to Table 28 in:
                  https://www.qilt.edu.au/docs/default-source/gos-reports/2017...

                  Only dentistry has a higher starting salary.

                  •  

                    @lunchbox99: Apprentices get paid while training. Junior doctors are graduates of their degree and so are technically graduates working in the medical system.

                    A junior doctor is not a medical student. And while some medical students have such ego that they call themselves "doctors in training" or "junior doctors" they are not. They are medical students and don't get paid.

                    Junior doctors get paid because they are doing real work. But in the profession they are also considered to be in "training" until they become consultants. A "training" doctor might be in charge of looking after a whole ward at some stages. So they are clearly earning their keep.

                    I don't know any other professions that consider people to still be "training" even when they are responsible for other staff members and have a clearly large set of responsibilities.

                    • +2 votes

                      @serpserpserp: So what - medical graduates still get paid more than any graduate in Australia other than dentists. In their very first job, they are already paid more than almost half of the Australian workforce. Within a couple of years they will be in the top 5%.

                      The sense of entitlement is so strong in some medical graduates.

                      Now once again, I'm not saying they don't work hard and shouldn't be paid well, but crying poor is a bit rich.

                      EDIT: This conversation has meandered significantly from the original point, which was whether or not medical staff deserve a "MP style pension". My view irrespective of discussions around starting salary is that they do not - especially for doctors. Their lifetime earnings are as good, and in many cases much better, than the vast majority of Australians.

                      •  

                        @lunchbox99:

                        the original point, which was whether or not medical staff deserve a "MP style pension"

                        I'm of the belief that no one deserves a MP style pension.

                        The sense of entitlement is so strong in some medical graduates.

                        You'll find that in all walks of professions: Law, Engineering, Banking, even Social Workers. They all believe they are worth the money they get paid an feel like they are underpaid. Tradies are even the same after awhile, one day they make 50% extra on a job then that just becomes their baseline.

                        I think the evidence from this thread is that no one was saying that doctors are crying poor. But what junior doctors get paid is not light years ahead of other professions and for the amount of time they have put in with studying (which can involve up to 7 years of study) they are well behind an Engineering grad who has been working for 3 or 4 years by the time they reach a graduate status (and depending on the type of doctor they become, may never catch up).

                        I personally know one doctor that was making a lot more money at 18 years of age doing website design (easily over six figures and they barely finished high school) before they decided to go on and get all kinds of qualifications and become a doctor. Yet I don't hold a grudge when another website designer tells me they earn significantly less.

                        But yes, the people at the top end of the medical field make great money. Just like in most professions.

                        • +1 vote

                          @serpserpserp: I'm sorry but who said a doctor must earn more than an engineer. Who said a junior doctor should earn more than other professions. They earn what the market will bear.

                          •  

                            @lunchbox99:

                            I'm sorry but who said a doctor must earn more than an engineer.

                            Uh, no one?

                            • +1 vote

                              @serpserpserp: Then why did you say they earn less than an engineer who has been working 3 years and may never catch up. Your implication is that is somehow an injustice.

                              You also said junior doctors don't get paid light years ahead of other professions. Your implication presumably is that they should.

                              If not, what point are you trying to make?

                              •  

                                @lunchbox99: There is no injustice, no implication. I'm just stating the reasons why junior doctors have said they don't get paid truckloads of money like lots of people think they do.

                                Also by fact of being a doctor, doesn't make you instantly better off than many other people in their careers.

              •  

                @lunchbox99: Medical school in 5 years, that's unpaid. "Junior Doctors" refers to interns, residents, and registrars.

                Do you propose that the interns and residents staffing ED overnight, or the registrars getting called in to remove a perforated appendix at 02:00 don't get paid cause they're in training? No consultant is coming in to work at those hours. Your perspective is skewed, and you're kinda clueless mate.

                • +1 vote

                  @Liqqeh: Lol, what? I said they DO get paid. Please try to keep up.

        • +1 vote

          I've been to plenty of GP's and I'd say the quality of GP's in this country is rapidly declining. All the "import" doctors seem to have little to no regard when it comes to diagnosis let alone understandable communication. That is a major worry…

      •  

        'MP style pension' - they went out window years agao.

        A new MP would be on an accumulation plan (at 15.4% like all Commonwealth public servants), unless they have been serving for a long time and managed to get into a defined plan, similar to long serving public servants.

        A short term served MP who eventually became PM is the only real MP who would get generous pension/perks these days.

      •  

        Mate, to be a doctor that earns that much, for example, a radiologist, is extremely hard without connections and background. They are still a minority.

        • +1 vote

          I know that. It seems to me that despite proving that doctors generally earn well compared to most Australians, some people have an expectation that they should earn more, but are quite unclear how much more would be enough. I already asked someone how many times the median FT salary would be enough, but they never answered.

          So the original question was whether they should get an MP style pension. Are you proposing that doctors wages are low enough that this should be done? I don't think so.

      •  

        It takes 11 years on average to go through medschool and GP training (which is incredibly difficult and little free time). I am a GP who went through this and after paying tens of thousands in AHPRA and RACGP fees, insurance fees, practice costs, HECS, training courses and disposables, we don't end up earning crazy money. I only see 3 patients an hour as I believe everyone should get 20 minutes of the doctors time and I bulk bill pensioners, under 16's, HCC owners and anyone who genuinely cant afford a small fee. After all of this, I can only afford a cheap Japanese car and am renting a house. Some doctors do earn lots but many of my doctor mates and colleagues are in my boat.

    • +9 votes

      100%, they should all be on double the money.

      I bet if the government randomly offered for those out of work at the moment to get full "health workers" pay to go and work 8 hours a day in hospitals, most be decline. And you have imbeciles debating whether they deserve a free cup of coffee or not. What is wrong with people FFS?

      • +3 votes

        I bet if the government randomly offered for those out of work at the moment to get full "health workers" pay to go and work 8 hours a day in hospitals

        Most doctors dream of an 8 hour day. Actually most of them dream of a reliable 10 hour day.

        •  

          Kinda true. Overtime is very expensive to the system for doctors, especially at a senior level. As such, the system very much tries to keep us within our 38 hour/week limit and so we don't get overtime usually unless we are on call and called in. I'd say my day, on average as a rural GP/emergency doctor, is about 8 hours and same with my colleagues. Most doctors I know working in bigger hospitals are about the same. On call is a different matter.

    • +1 vote

      Personally I wish the rewards went to the right people in our society but unfortunately, we don't live in a fairytale. We are restricted by resources. I.e. if we end up doing this and doing all the nice suggestions stated in this comment thread, which I would add is in good heart. Then do you guys all mind paying more tax? Because money isn't just made from thin air (Well it is right now with all the printing but we'll be paying for it in the future by a lot). If everyone in here doesn't mind then I guess let's do it? (My guess is all of you do mind. A lot and any thought of paying more tax will remove this sentiment.. A good example is labour vs liberals. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, but what I am saying is, labour was going to win.. until they announce the removal of tax benefits mainly around capital gains).

      •  

        i dont mind taxes going were it needs/deserves too go ie schools roads, paying healthcare workers etc but handing cash to retired MPs, doll cheats, ppl who come here on good will and break the law/ dont work im not so ok with….

      • +1 vote

        Side note. Thank you, OP! For choosing such a tough industry to be in and I'm glad that people are giving the credit you deserve. And I really am shocked at your level of empathy to think about everyone else before yourself, whilst you are under pressure, stress and risking your life to save others.

        •  

          I want second postform thank you OP! I and 'most' Australians peripatetic you and have the highest respect for you and others like you!!

    •  

      Would like to know your thoughts on the American nurses and medics then because unlike their Australian counter parts they’re being run of their feet with minimal PPE

    • +1 vote

      clap clap clap at least there are still some real Aussies out there

    •  

      They're doing it for the money mate. I bet a lot of them wish they could work elsewhere but they can't and walking away and looking for another job isn't an option.

      Take away the fortnightly pay and these so-called heroes would be pushing in line at Centrelink like everyone else.

      Inb4 some hospital nurse replies saying she only has 1 arm and is struggling to feed her kid as a single mother but still works for free out of the goodness of her heart.

    •  

      i don't get how this isn't the default answer - anyone risking their life should be able to take anything given without guilt like OP is throwing

  • +24 votes

    I agree, what we should be really getting is hazard pay, environmental pay. Not to pay for hospital parking in the first place even before this thing. Proper change rooms and time to change

    • +3 votes

      Amen to all that and include all the protection equipment that has been diverted from Medical care.

      I want to say an enormous thank-you to our frontline medical people. Whilst the rest of us are hiding in our houses you guys are meeting this head on.

    • +15 votes

      Why is it that I am a NSW government employee at a NSW government facility but have to pay a private company to park on NSW government land?

      •  

        yeah it's BS and all because the health service/state government wanted the quick cash from selling the asset.

      • +1 vote

        It costs the hospital less to outsource running of the parking lot than to run it themselves, same with salary packaging.

    •  

      HSU just announced (at least in NSW) that parking is free for all hospital employees, as it should be!

    • +11 votes

      Did you read the post? This post is written by a health worker.

      • +1 vote

        Try2bhelpful and actually read first.

  • +1 vote

    It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

    People who are working in the health care system in "the front line" can be recognised and rewarded (in whatever format) for the work they are doing, and those who have lost their jobs and fallen upon hard times can be supported by the generosity of those who are able to provide support. Both of these things can happen.

    •  

      But they won't

  • +1 vote

    This is a post to make you feel better isn't it. Yes sir, all normal human beings would believe that people who put the wellbeing of fellow community workers by being on the frontline deserve special treatment.

    •  

      Its their job - and some are being sacked

  • +7 votes

    Behind the scenes if you didn't know OP the companies are doing it for some great PR . It actually has nothing to do with if required or not . Just business .

    • +7 votes

      To clarify, I am also talking about things like this, where people are donating to gofundmes to buy coffees for healthcare staff.

      Imagine if that $50k went to buying poorer families electronic devices so that their kids could access education, or food for food banks?

      https://www.gofundme.com/f/buy-them-a-coffee

      • +2 votes

        If you don’t like it dont donate…..I hate people who moan about sh!t like this if the government was giving money that is one thing but If an individual wants to is another

        Most of the ‘free stuff’ is from businesses not from tax payers and the things that are from tax payers ie free parking in the city for late night workers in hospitals is FAIR ENOUGH

      •  

        Imagine if that $50k went to buying poorer families electronic devices so that their kids could access education, or food for food banks?

        Schools do provide a fair amount of these resources. My school is in a low SES area and we have enough devices to loan out to kids who don't have devices and are learning from home. There's also a breakfast club for kids to get cereal and toast every morning. Sometimes vouchers are also given to kids to get a feed at the canteen if they don't have lunch.

        I know that's not your point but I want to reassure people that schools are keeping an eye out on students and families during this uncertain time. Schools do have funds to provide for some of these needs. $50k might help poorer families buy a device or food but $50k can only go so far.

        I think the gofundme's are a nice gesture and shows that people acknowledge and appreciate the hard work healthcare workers are doing in this situation. Personally, I think it'd be more helpful if people donate PPE or funds to purchase PPE for healthcare workers. Several of my mates in healthcare are stressing out since they're inadequately equipped to deal with the current situation.

      •  

        where people are donating to gofundmes to buy coffees for healthcare staff.

        It's not really about the cost of coffee you know. People in the public want to show solidarity and support to our medical workers.

  • +7 votes

    Contrary, I believe more big corporates should hop on the good deed train. It's a win win - small gesture to frontline personnel and the business receives positive PR and tax write off.

  • +11 votes

    Don't take the free stuff then.

  • +6 votes

    It's just marketing. Makes the company offering a discount look good in the eyes of the public.

    •  

      Even the small family run restaurants?

  • +10 votes

    Many of the free things posted on ozbargain is being privately funded, ie. not paid for by taxpayers.

    I am eligible for these free things but I agree, I don't think we should be given free things just for doing our job. Sure the job is tougher recently but we have an income.

    •  

      Yes.. this.

    •  

      To be honest, if australis was like NY right now and i was a nurse/doctor, i would probably quit.

      •  

        Why?

        •  

          Overloaded and lack of protection? Why should i expose myself to that situation and why should i risk myself and my family?Though i'm not in medical profession

          •  

            @od810: Good reasons. Fair enough.

            Asked out of genuine curiosity.

  • +4 votes

    The government is paying a wage for the majority of those people who will loose their jobs, so yes healthcare workers should get the odd little gift to keep their spirits up

  • +4 votes

    I appreciate the free coffee on the way to/from shift, it keeps me awake, and then awake long enough to spend some time with family (when able) before sleep/rinse/repeat.

    But no, no one I know of in healthcare NEEDS free stuff like that, mostly It's just companies saying 'look at us we care about health workers'.

    I did appreciate some of my colleagues who'd been working flat out being able to shop and get basic supplies a couple of mornings a week before the hoarding dogs got there due to the incredible shifts they'd had to do though, but that wasn't really a freebie, more of an acknowledgement that because they're diligent and not just leaving work when 'my hours are done' (very different from the jobsworths and clock watchers).

    I'd not begrudge anyone who is offered it and wishes to take them up on it any free stuff, but we've been eating 'out' (takeout) a little more, not so much because we are lazy but we are trying to spread around our local businesses in the hope they can make enough to stay afloat and reopen at the other end if they have an income stream.

  • +6 votes

    I’m a healthcare worker too, I think it’s just the mentality of healthcare workers - ‘I’m ok. Help the people worse than me’. However, think there’s a couple important points that no one seems to be talking about:

    1. The massive go fund me for NSW bushfires seemed to the set the standard for government to think ‘if we don’t look after our frontline emergency services in a crisis, the general public will do it for us’. Again, I certainly agree with the sentiment of people wanting to show appreciation in a crisis, but it should be the government providing adequate staffing and resources that healthcare staff don’t get to the stage of not being able to look after themselves too!

    2. Private health sector has had a massive decline in work and money since cancelling all elective surgery, and is actually cutting staff pay / standing down staff. We’re being ‘asked’ not to seek employment elsewhere because they’ll need us back when the work/patients do inevitably come back, and then private healthcare will be wanting to clear the back log of non-emergency patients but won’t have the trained/skilled staff to do it (because we couldn’t survive without a job & had to find one in public)

    •  

      Don't tell me not to find additional work if you're not going to pay me! These nurses should be picking up locum and telehealth gigs on the side. There will be plenty of work especially for ICU and PACU nurses popping up in due time

      Absolutely disagree with the government's abdication of responsibility by the way. This is how we end up with a gofundme based healthcare system and a charity based welfare system like in the US

      • -3 votes

        “These nurses should” LMAO - mate they dont need to DO ANYTHING if anything these NURSES Should all go on STRIKE right now and demand at 200% pay raise because the system needs them

        What you fail to see is ‘THESE NURSES” coming out of retirement, working double shifts and putting there body on the line could just as easily tell everyone 2 F off unless there conditions are improved but ‘these nurses’ are actually good humans And wont do that

        Honestly look at the coin on both sides

        •  

          The more I read of your comments, the more you strike me as just not particularly bright. You're chastising someone who agrees with you…

          • -3 votes

            @p1 ama: I honest dont mind if dont agree with me i do think it is weird that your stalking my comments tho…

            However i do think a load of people agree with me just go to my poll on 6 month ban on evictions…. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/527745?page=8#comment-8553... 846 ppl agree with me from last count

            For a PhD student your pretty bad at research are you doing your PhD at Victorian University or University of New England? that might explain a few things…

      • +1 vote

        gofundme based healthcare system and a charity based welfare system like in the US

        I'm not sure why Australians make these weird statements about American healthcare.

        Their healthcare is actually good unless you're an illegal immigrant or do not have the equivalent of WorkCover here

        • +3 votes

          I'm not sure why Australians make these weird statements about American healthcare.

          Lack of insurance coverage
          More than 27 million people in the United States were uninsured in 2018 . This is nearly a tenth of its population.

          Underperforming primary care
          They have very disorganised, fragmented, inefficient and under-resourced primary care system. Many primary-care physicians struggle to receive relevant clinical information from specialists and hospitals, complicating efforts to provide seamless, coordinated care. On top of a lack of investment in primary care, they also do not invest in social services, which are important determinants of health.

          Other
          The United States spends far more on health care than any other high-income country, yet has poorer health outcome.

          Source

          • +1 vote

            @DisabledUser102420:

            Lack of insurance coverage
            More than 27 million people in the United States were uninsured in 2018 . This is nearly a tenth of its population.

            Exactly. We have a relatively high number of uninsured drivers (especially since insurance is mandatory in the US). They don't actually make comments about out terrible traffic system based on our uninsured.

            Many primary-care physicians struggle to receive relevant clinical information from specialists and hospitals, complicating efforts to provide seamless, coordinated care.

            It is no different here. You see a physician and you do this specialist merry go round and end up on a waiting list for a decade and hope you're still alive then.

            On top of a lack of investment in primary care, they also do not invest in social services, which are important determinants of health.

            Different approach. They take the, "spend your money as you see fit" route. Ie. Pay less tax, use the relative savings to fund what each person perceives adds most value to their lives.

            I take issue with the study you cite.
            1. It is a compilation of surveys.
            2. There is a distinct lack of cost breakdown. Many groundbreaking treatments and procedures are developed in the US and that has a significant impact on the cost.

            Honestly, when I was studying, I used to mock the crap out of the American health system and had this immense admiration for the Canadian and UK system.

            When I actually asked my family who have lived in the US for much longer, they tell me all the misconceptions I have held. There are many free clinics in the metropolitan areas but the wait time is terrible but it is the same here. If you're willing to pay, you get seen quicker than you would here.

            Then I looked at the NPS. Having never been to the UK, I am told by my colleagues that graduated there that whatever I do, if I need a doctor in the UK, avoid the NPS like the plague.

            Then there are the Canadians. Everything is free but even if you wanted to pay, the wait times are not ideal.

            Having said that, I'm not knocking on our health system but ours is a system extremely heavily reliant on tax revenue. It's only a serviceable system as long as taxes collected can fund it.

            •  

              @tshow:

              Exactly. We have a relatively high number of uninsured drivers (especially since insurance is mandatory in the US). They don't actually make comments about out terrible traffic system based on our uninsured.

              What are you talking about? Literally every single post here involving some sort of traffic accident has people chastising uninsured drivers.

              Different approach. They take the, "spend your money as you see fit" route. Ie. Pay less tax, use the relative savings to fund what each person perceives adds most value to their lives.

              My personal view is that a single-payer healthcare system is better, but I don't disagree with the fact that the overwhelming majority of people in the US have access to great healthcare.

              However, I do think there's a case to be made about what you do with those who fall through the cracks. Do we simply say to those who have lost their jobs or those who cannot afford healthcare that they simply will not receive treatment? I'm not advocating for free cosmetic surgery, but there has to be some baseline level of care.

              There's also some social argument as well. If there's broader access to medical treatment, people will be more productive, they might be able to work more, reduce dependence on welfare, stay out of crime…etc.

            •  

              @tshow: yeah they're so great that they advertise their diabetic athletes having to consume animal insulin - due to not being able to afford the ridiculous prices of proper medication - as inspirational stories to strive towards.

        •  

          Their healthcare is actually good

          Lol it’s actually not. It’s great if you can afford it, they have some of the best medical treatment in the world.

          In terms of public healthcare, it’s the opposite. Among the worst in the world. I’m not even biased, it’s just a fact.

  •  

    I'd take unemployment over increased risk of getting the virus and killing my parents.

  •  

    Then Boo to you.

  • +1 vote

    The "free stuff" is there should any healthcare workers require it. They won't all necessarily take it up, but the offer is there if they need/want to.

  • -2 votes

    I don't think ozbargain should be filled with BS posts but i accept what i can't change and try to embrace it.

    You should try it too

  •  

    While I havent claimed anything free I did enjoy walking into coles this morning at 7:55, skipping the massive line (literally would have been 70m) waiting to get in to go pick up some toilet paper

  • +19 votes

    I am a healthcare worker in a Sydney public hospital.
    Things are not as many people may imagine.

    All elective surgical services were stopped and surgical wards either closed or amalgamated. Most of surgical bed capacity is temporarily closed.
    Surgical nurses have largely been redeployed to medical wards.
    Admissions through emergency have dropped off the cliff, people in the community are avoiding going to GPs and Emergency Departments. This means the medical admissions have greatly reduced too, so medical beds have been closed across those areas as a result.

    Obviously the bed capacity is reserved to cope with any influx of Covi19 patients.

    The hospital I work at is half empty, hundreds of beds closed and it is now overstaffed.

    Casual nurses, who normally can work full time hours due to chronic shortages have now had their shifts cancelled or greatly reduced.

    Permanent staff are being "encouraged" to take annual leave.
    In the beginning annual leave approvals were denied. Staff who had leave approved way in advance, often 3-5 weeks holiday can obviously no longer travel. They are requesting to cancel their leave and this is being rejected so they have to now take it anyway.

    Right now casual staff have no work or reduced hours. Public hospitals are not eligible for job keeper.

    Permanent staff are basically using their annual leave up to suit the hospitals requirement.

    Lets not forget about all the staff in the private hospitals who basically got stood down when elective surgery was banned nationwide. This is thousands of nurses and support workers.

    If the health service gets huge numbers of Covid19 patients, all of these people will be expected to work until they drop and at the end of it all some will have no leave left to take a break.

    NSW Health has advised us not to travel to work in uniform because of the verbal and physical abuse from people who believe we are all infected.

    Personally, I dont think its time to start giving us all the freebies, we are not yet working like hospital staff in USA and Europe.

    It is time to stop hating on us though

    A lot of us are in the same position as everyone else right now with reduced income. The exception being when we get back to working normally some of us will die through being exposed to sick patients with high Covid19 viral loads.

    • +4 votes

      This is very true. I work in the public system in Adelaide and our hospitals are empty, wards are closed, ED is quiet. Proves the public can stay out of the ED when they have too! Casuals haven’t had work for a month, private hospitals have closed most wards, nurses are forced to take their leave. The govt won’t sign off on our EB agreement that ran out last September and are refusing to backpay when they do- giving them no incentive to agree to it anytime soon. Yet when the proverbial hits the fan, we’ll all step up and do what we do at risk to ourselves and our loved ones. The public really have no idea what’s happening in the hospitals but it’s a very strange place to be right now…

      •  

        thanks for posting reality. health system is about to be gutted.

    • +2 votes

      I'm a casual nurse in the NSW public system and my partner is a casual in a private hospital. She luckily got a telehealth role albeit at half the pay, however I'm considering joining the lines at Centrelink if I can't find work elsewhere soon.

      Is any of this mentioned in the media? People think I'm nuts when I tell them.

    •  

      no hate from me - thanks for posting and good luck.

    •  

      The lockdown is working very well now, so there isn't going to be any massive increase of new infections.

      We should be using this time with so few emergency cases to work through the backlog of other non-urgent surgery.

  • +2 votes

    Keyboard warriors should get the free stuff, having to deal with thinking of all the problems they read online.

    Free stuff might encourage making solutions, or at least cushion the overbearing thought of shopping online and having to wait longer during these tough times.

  •  

    in my honest point view, this whole just like a marketing ploy for some, the genuine business owner got suck into it.
    people who work mainly in healthcare industry has no time to waste to go outside to have lunch or coffee, they are pumping every second to save live/s so they dont have that luxury of time with the situation right now. people who would utilise this offer would be minimal to no impact.

  • +1 vote

    I think they deserve more tbh i think they dont get enough respect - all besides doctors generally get treated badly from what ive seen

  • +1 vote

    It is a tough job at the best of times with little benefits. Even tougher right now. I am more than happy for healthcare workers to get freebies and get looked after. Yes you picked a profession that is recession proof but it's a bloody tough job and I can assure you that you are definitely not the profession that should be feeling guilty. March / April is usually the time when corporates announce bonuses and pay rises, I wonder how many froze those payments? Fewer than you think…….

    •  

      Ironically, healthcare isn’t recession proof during a global health pandemic. Australia cleared out hospitals & then our infection rates dropped right off (not saying that’s a bad thing).

      However, hospitals are also standing down at staff because they don’t have enough patients, and therefore not enough money to pay staff to stand around waiting for sick people. At the same time, these staff are being guilted into not looking for employment elsewhere, because the sick people will inevitable come back (either corona patients or patients with non-corona issues) and they’ll need already trained & skilled staff to just pick up right where they left off!

      • +1 vote

        well why would u go back after being treated like shit?

  • +3 votes

    Glad to see that there's no comment that goes: "They're just doing their jobs, they get paid to do it. They don't deserve these free stuff."

    In my opinion, private organisations can offer free stuff to recognise health care workers. The health care workers can then accept these or not.

    I reckon I'd be even happier to see if they take up the offed only to pass it forward to people who actually need it, as long as it doesn't void terms and conditions.

  • -3 votes

    As a pharmacist, I see a lot of doctors not writing scripts with repeats or many repeats. They refuse to write new scripts until the last repeat has been dispensed and this is for elderly customers.

    I find it despicable that the elderly are more adversely affected by covid and the flu, government has warned them not to go out unless necessary AND they've increased bulk billed rebates.

    Even then, the doctors make these patients come in and collect the script. Many times, some script's don't even end at the same time.

    SOME these money hungry GP's have no conscience.

    • +2 votes

      Maybe because you don't understand that these people need to be seen maybe once a month (say for a 28 tablet script with 1 tab dailY)? to avoid them ending up in ED?

    • +1 vote

      Maybe let your customers know that they can ask the GP to fax the prescription. Also my doc did give me a bunch of repeats and the pharmacy would only give me enough to last 20days due to COVID hoarding. My script wasn’t even one of the commonly stockpiled drugs. So I’ll have to brave the pharmacy again even though I had a Telehealth consult due to being in a vulnerable group. Sometimes it’s the pharmacy not the GP causing people to be out more than needed.

    •  

      The reason why I do not generally prescribe excessive repeats is to encourage patients to continue to see their general practitioner.
      Each visit is an opportunity to revisit chronic medical problems and tailor medication dosages as required.
      This is not a 'money-hungry' exercise, it is simply good and safe medical practice.

      Of course, individual circumstances are variable and there may be a very good reason to prescribe more repeats.

      SOME pharmacists fail to realise this. Worryingly, the business-driven Pharmacy Guild seem to think that pharmacists can take over parts of the role of a clinically trained general practitioner (but that's an unrelated issue completely) …