Patients suffer while doctors burnout

  • 12/08/2016

It's hoped a report into the number of specialists suffering extreme fatigue will shock District Health Boards into action.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) report has found more than half of senior hospital workers are reporting high levels of burnout.

Dr Charlotte Chambers from ASMS says DHBs should take note.

"They should be having their finger on the pulse of the state of mental wellbeing in their workforce. This high rate of burnout is going to have a consequence on the quality of patient care," she said.

Understaffing and frustration with management at DHBs is being blamed for a high number of specialists feeling burnout.

Dr Chambers says respondents are pointing the finger at unrelenting workloads.

"Those working in emergency medicine and psychiatry have the highest rates of work-related burnout. I think these findings suggest that, obviously, resourcing and staffing levels are not increasing with demand."

The levels are also much higher than other countries who have undertaken the same survey.

"The proportion of senior doctors and dentists was far higher than expected, and it is far higher than international studies using the same burnout screening inventory."

The ASMS has requested meetings with all DHBs to discuss the survey results.