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The RMO working environment
While the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is not a party to industrial negotiations we remain closely interested in the industrial environment, mostly because the working environment affects doctors' practice.
This position statement sets out the NZMA’s views on the working and training environment for Resident Medical Officers (RMOs):
There is a need for a national arrangement that sets standards for education and training and gives guidance on the transfer of RMOs between DHBs so that the RMO is not disadvantaged. The transfer needs to be seamless.
- Conditions of employment need to be improved to reflect both the needs of, and demands on, RMOs.
- The Government needs to ensure that we have enough training posts and resources available to train more doctors.
- It is the quality and integrity of the team that is the key to service delivery and the training experience. The key to improving training and job satisfaction is having a sufficiently resourced and supported trainer/teacher and then building appropriately sized teams around the consultants.
- The workforce forecasting begun by the Medical Training Board (MTB) needs to be continued.
- The Government needs to be ready to address the potential effects of the increased number of graduates seeking training positions in New Zealand (eg Australia and the UK).
Education and training
- There is a need for an improved educational focus in the workforce culture. Good service improves the balance between training and services.
- Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) that are responsible for training need to be appropriately resourced and supported thereby allowing them to supervise and train RMOs.
- There is a need for greater, and improved, consistency in training opportunities and experience.
- While it is acknowledged that a lot of training is experiential and occurs outside set training periods, the employer must still ensure it provides sufficient training hours at times that suits both the SMO and the RMO. It must also ensure that RMOs receive the full breadth of training appropriate to their planned specialty.
Treating people well
- RMOs need to feel valued – to be both well resourced and appropriately remunerated for their contributions.
- The early post graduate years need to be streamlined while still ensuring continued flexibility for those involved in training.
Approved by the NZMA Board July 2011