GP registrars need safer working hours

THE peak national representative body for GP registrars is calling for safer working hours to ensure high-quality patient care, warning that long hours are risking the wellbeing of registrars and their patients.

In a discussion paper released late yesterday, General Practice Registrars Australia has argued the culture of long working hours requires urgent action and calls for the development of a safe work hours policy.

GPRA chair Dr Wicky Wong said reports of registrars consulting in normal hours – often also managing hospital or emergency presentations – then being awake all night with high-acuity patients while on call, then continuing to consult the next day with minimal recovery time, were alarming.

“Safe working hours in general practice is a topic that has managed to fly under the radar until now and we would like to put the spotlight on this very important issue,” he said.