HSUWA urges all health staff to voice their concerns in new survey

Tuesday 05 Mar 2019

The Health Services Union WA (HSUWA) is urging all health staff to participate in the Your Voice in Health employee engagement survey, to ensure the State Government heeds concerns raised.

The survey released via email this morning is voluntary but should be taken as an opportunity by staff to send a message to both the Department of Health and its Minister.

HSUWA Secretary Dan Hill said now that our State is in a better financial position, it is time to focus on how we can improve WA’s seriously under-resourced health system.

“It is well documented that staff in WA’s health system are struggling with high levels of stress, related to being overworked, and I have no doubt we will see the same concerns highlighted in this survey.

“Last year HSUWA conducted our own survey with more than 1400 health workers across WA responding. The results revealed evidence of stress in the workplace including concerns of staff shortages, increased workload and bullying. 

“More than 60 per cent of those respondents felt they had a high workload with many reporting there was not enough staff to deal with the increased capacity.

“There is currently a lack of resources within WA’s health system and one of the biggest problems we are seeing is a shortage in staff.

“Adequate cover is not being provided in place of staff who take annual or sick leave, resulting in added stress and pressure to those who have to take on the extra workload to compensate.

“The survey also revealed a culture of bullying within WA hospitals and health services with almost half of the respondents agreeing that bullying was a problem within the workplace. This is particularly concerning and continues in 2019 with the union already responding to bullying complaints in two large regional country hospitals and a major metropolitan hospital.

“Our members are understandably cynical that this is yet another survey with no action. But if all staff took time to participate, as a collective we can attempt to send a message to the government that WA health needs investment now.

“The union has written to the department questioning why anyone can fill out the survey without identifying as a staff member, fearing this could jeopardise the results validity.

“The department and the Minister for Health also need to release the findings of the survey within a reasonable timeframe and be committed to acting on the issues raised,” Mr Hill said.

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