Medical typists still facing outsourcing threat

Friday 01 Mar 2019

Union Rep. Beryl Frazer has been working as a medical typist for the last 11 years. Beryl loves her job and works hard but over the years she’s seen in-house medical typing progressively cut and outsourced at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and throughout North Metro.

The HSUWA is aware of outsourcing that has occurred at other sites in North Metro and throughout the health system under the previous State Government.  

In 2017 the HSUWA secured an election promise from the now Health Minister, Roger Cook that:

“I can give a clear election commitment that WA Labor will stop any further outsourcing of medical typing.” and:

“If elected, WA Labor will seriously consider the case for bringing back in-house outsourced medical typing as part of the normal budgetary process.“

Since that time East Metropolitan Health had advertised for various typing positions and it appears they have stopped any further outsourcing. The situation in South Metro also appears to have stabilised.

However, there is a business case before SCGH considering whether to outsource further, maintain the status quo or bring typing back in-house. It is difficult to say which way the service is leaning with differing reports coming through. This, combined with the budgetary pressure North Metro is facing, is causing considerable angst for members like Beryl.

It is not clear that outsourced typing is cheaper than running the service in-house but it certainly means the workers are paid less. Sending patient letters interstate and sometimes overseas raises obvious privacy concerns for patients as well.

The HSUWA has met with the Health Minister and discussed the commitment with him.

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