Welcome to the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria (MSAV) the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc (VPA Inc) and the Association of Hospital Pharmacists (AHP)website.

MSAV, VPA Inc and AHP are the only unions in Victoria which specifically look after the industrial interests of medical scientists (MSAV), psychologists (VPA Inc) and hospital pharmacists (AHP). MSAV, VPA Inc and AHP are component Associations of the Health Services Union (HSU) Victoria No. 4 Branch.

VPA AGM and PD Seminar

 

This year’s Annual General Meeting for the VPA and the next Professional Development seminar will be held on Wednesday 17 September 2014 at the Treacy Centre in Parkville.

The topic for the professional development seminar is “The diagnosis and management of sleep disorders”, which will be presented by Associate Professor Gerard Kennedy.

The program for the afternoon is:

12:30pm - 1pm: Light Lunch

1pm - 1:30pm: VPA Annual General Meeting 2014

1:30pm - 2:30pm: Session One of the PD Seminar

2:30pm - 2:45pm: Afternoon Tea

2:45pm to 4pm: Session Two of the PD Seminar

4pm to 4:20pm: Plenary

To register your interest for the VPA PD and AGM please contact the Union at enquiry[at]vicpsych.org.au or on 9623 9625 by close of business Friday, 12 September.



AHP AGM 2014


The Association of Hospital Pharmacists’ Annual General Meeting will be held on 29 September at 1pm at the Pharmacy Department Seminar Room at the Austin Hospital.

The annual financial reports are now available to members on our website. You will need to be a member and registered on our website to access this information.

Please register your attendance for the AHP AGM by contacting the Alex at alexs[at]msav.org.au by close of business on Monday, 22 September.

It pays to belong to the Union

A member at one of our major Melbourne Hospitals contacted the Union after her employer had refused her request to come back from maternity leave on a part time basis. The Union approached the employer and sought to appeal the decision as per the Public Sector Enterprise Agreement.

The employer later retracted their refusal and the member will make a return to work after maternity leave with her flexible work arrangements later in the year – It Pays to belong to a Union.


It Pays to belong to the Union is prepared each week by Veronica Belot, an industrial officer at the MSAV/VPA/AHP/HSU4.

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What's missing in Victoria

Every worker has been let down by the Napthine Government.  

But union members just like you are standing up to the Government and sharing their experiences about what budget cuts mean to them and Victoria.

And you can help by putting up these MISSING posters on your street (or at the local shops!) and then sending us a photo of your handy-work.




Sign up at: http://www.weareunion.org.au/missing and we’ll send you a pack of 20 posters, plus a union sticker as thanks!

It’s all part of the We Are Union campaign to highlight workers’ voices this election.

 


 
Cobram Pathology Lab Closure Threatens Critical Acute Care Services: MSAV

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is warning that the survival of some acute care services like surgery and accident and emergency in the Cobram Hospital could be jeopardised after plans were revealed to close Cobram Hospital’s pathology laboratory., This development adds to the uncertainty of quality healthcare for people living in regional Victoria after St John of God announced plans to close pathology services in public hospitals in four regional centres in Victoria.

Paul Elliott, MSAV assistant secretary, said:

“It is a damning indictment of the Victorian Liberal government’s approach to healthcare that Goulbourn Valley Health is planning to close the Cobram pathology laboratory due to budget restraints placed on it by the state government.

“Pathology is a vital tool used in our public hospitals for around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis and to assess how treatments are progressing.

“There is no way that Goulbourn Valley Health can in good conscious say that they can continue to offer safe and reliable pathology service when tests won’t be done on site and will be sent to Shepparton. This will inevitably mean it will take a lot longer for results to tests to be reported.

Pathology is vital for public hospital acute care services. If the Cobram Hospital pathology laboratory closes, it will place in serious doubt the capacity of the hospital to maintain critical services like accident and emergency and surgery.

“When you close a pathology laboratory, you can’t in good faith claim, as Goulbourn Valley Health is, that pathology services will continue to be of the highest quality.

“There are many instances where even a small delay in getting test results and determining a diagnosis can have profound impacts on outcomes for patients. And if pathology tests are being sent to Shepparton, via taxi, there will be inevitable delays.

“The truth of the matter is that health care for people living in Cobram will be greatly diminished because they won’t have access to speedy and reliable results to pathology tests, while on-site testing is done with machines well-known to be unreliable that only perform a very limited range of tests.

“Unfortunately this is yet another perfect of Government cuts to health and the contracting out of pathology services hurting local communities just like Cobram.

“It’s time for the Victorian Government to stop playing games and properly invest in healthcare to make sure Victorians, including people living in regional Victoria,  can get the care they need when they need it,” concluded Mr Elliott.


 
Health services drastically reduced in regional and rural Victoria: MSAV

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria has significant concerns about the ongoing quality of health care for regional Victorians after St John of God announced a proposal to close pathology services in public hospitals in four regional centres in Victoria.

Paul Elliott, MSAV assistant secretary, said:

“We are not convinced by assurances from St John of God that they will continue to offer a safe and reliable pathology service when they’re proposing to close down four laboratories in public hospitals and sack medical scientists.

“Pathology is a vital tool used in our public hospitals for around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis and to assess how treatments are progressing.

“It’s completely wrong for St John of God to say they can continue to offer safe and reliable pathology services when tests won’t be done on site and will be sent to other locations. This will inevitably mean it will take a lot longer for results to tests to be reported.

“When you take out the scientists and close pathology laboratories, you can’t in good faith claim, as St John of God is that pathology services will continue to be world-class.

“There are many instances where even a small delay in getting test results and determining a diagnosis can have profound impacts on outcomes for patients.

“The truth of the matter is that health care for regional Victorians will be greatly diminished because they won’t have access to speedy and reliable results to pathology tests.

“It’s also wrong of St John of God to claim that urgent testing can be done with equipment in wards. It is well-known that they are unreliable and only perform a very limited range of tests. These machines are absolutely no substitute for the properly staffed and resourced pathology laboratory.

“Unfortunately this is another perfect example of how Government cuts to health and the contracting out of pathology services are hurting local communities.

“This decision highlights how the model of privatising critical health services like pathology doesn’t work. A model that allows business interests to be put before the health care interests of whole communities is obviously wrong and needs to be changed.

“It’s time for the Victorian Government to stop playing games and properly invest in healthcare to make sure Victorians can get the care they need when they need it,” concluded Mr Elliott.


 
The myth of 'front line' services

Governments of all persuasions regularly talk about improving the sustainability of public services. This has certainly been the mantra of the Napthine Government with their regular assertion they’re strengthening so-called front line services by cutting costs.

But such mantras, when they’re actually implemented have massive consequences, especially in critical areas like healthcare. And right now Victoria is suffering plenty because of the ill-conceived mantra of sustainability.

Pathology is one of the most important tools in a health professional’s kit. It is the tool that doctors and specialists rely on to make a diagnosis and to find treatments. They’re also used to make sure that the treatment your doctor or specialist has prescribed is actually working. It’s also the work of the medical scientists in pathology to do cross-matching blood for life-saving transfusions.

Unfortunately for Victorians, the Napthine Government has determined that such a vital service, a service every patient needs, is not a so-called ‘front line’ service. Because of the ‘sustainability’ mantra, more and more public hospitals are looking at extreme measures to cut costs; and it is in the cost cutting craze that pathology services are either being downsized or contracted out.

The increased down-sizing and contracting out of pathology services means delays in getting results to tests, which can be very problematic in quickly determining a diagnosis or trying to identify why a particular treatment isn’t working. And it is also leading to private pathology providers, like Dorevitch Pathology, having more influence over the quality of care hospitals and community health services are able to provide. In fact we’re witnessing a winding back on quality health care in regional Victoria as St John of God is planning to close four public hospital pathology laboratories.

There are also growing concerns about the dwindling medical scientist workforce. With the increasing attacks on budgets and efforts by hospital managements to slash pay and conditions, more medical scientists are walking away. Instead of addressing this, the government and the Victorian health sector believe the answer is in employing unqualified and untrained people to fill critical jobs – it’s already happening in Warragul with an untrained scientist conducting blood cross-matching work.

So while the Napthine Government talks about making health care in Victoria ‘sustainable’, the reality is that patients will be forced to wait longer, possibly to the detriment of their health, for pathology test results.  But if the Napthine Government continues its ill-conceived mantra on ‘sustainability’ we could find a health system incapable of delivering world-class health care.

 


 
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