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 Tracey Centre in Parkville.

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

Associate Professor Gerard Kennedy has extensive expertise in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of sleep disorders.  He has developed expertise in sleep psychology during more than 20 years of practice as a senior clinical psychologist in the Department(s) of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at both the Austin Hospital and Monash Medical Centre.  

Save the Date: Wednesday 17 September for the next Professional Development session and the VPA Annual General Meeting

To register your interest for the VPA PD and AGM please contact Alex at alexs[at]msav.org.au



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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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.

 


 
VPA PD Seminar and AGM

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

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

Associate Professor Gerard Kennedy has extensive expertise in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of sleep disorders.  He has developed expertise in sleep psychology during more than 20 years of practice as a senior clinical psychologist in the Department(s) of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at both the Austin Hospital and Monash Medical Centre.  He is also employed in the Psychology Department at Victoria University in Melbourne, where he maintains a strong research program in the area of sleep and circadian rhythms, but also finds time to do research in other areas of psychology.  

Associate Professor Gerard Kennedy has published more than 100 articles in refereed journals and books, and given many conference presentations, presentations to the media and community organizations.  Many of the articles and presentations that he has done have been on issues related to sleep and health psychology.  He has received over 40 grants from universities, the ARC, NHMRC and TAC.  He has also supervised the research theses of more than 50 PhD, DPsych, Masters and fourth year students and supervised more than 20 probationary psychologists to full registration in the state of Victoria.

Save the Date: Wednesday 17 September for the next Professional Development session and the VPA Annual General Meeting

 


 
HSU No. 4 Branch Election Notice

VICTORIA NO. 4 BRANCH ELECTION NOTICE

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009

Nominations are called for the following offices:

Branch President *
Branch Senior Vice-President *
Branch Junior Vice-President (Psychologist) *
Branch Secretary *
Branch Assistant Secretary *
Trustee (Psychologist) *
Trustee (MSAV) *
Committee Member (Psychologist) *
Committee Member (Pharmacist) (2) *
Committee Member (MSAV) (3) *
National Council Delegates (3)

NOMINATIONS

Written nominations, which comply with the registered rules of the Union, will open on 22 July 2014 must reach the Returning Officer at his office or postal address not later than 5:00pm on Monday, 4 August 2014. Nominations cannot be withdrawn after this time.

Note: that emails greater than 6 MB size may not be accepted by the AEC’s firewall.

NOMINATION FORMS

Nomination forms are available from me, from the website of the AEC (www.aec.gov.au) or the Union’s website. (www.hsu.net.au).

* Candidate Statements: Candidates for Branch Officers and Ordinary Branch Committee members (marked with an asterisk * above) may lodge a written statement, of no more than 300 words, in support of their candidature. Statements which comply with the organisation’s Rules will be distributed with the ballot papers. Statements must be submitted to the Returning Officer as a word document (.doc) either by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on a cd. The statement must reach my office or postal address no later than 5:00pm on Monday 4 August 2014. Note: that emails greater than 6 MB size may not be accepted by the AEC’s firewall.

Note: A Candidate Statement template and Word Count Guide is able to be downloaded from the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au under elections/industrial elections tabs.

ADDRESS FOR LODGING NOMINATIONS

By Post: Australian Electoral Commission, GPO Box 4382, Melbourne Vic 3001
By Hand: Australian Electoral Commission, Level 8, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale St, Melbourne Vic 3000
By Fax: (03) 9285 7149
By Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BALLOT

A postal ballot, if required, will open on 9 September 2014 and will close at 5.00pm on Friday 10 October 2014. Members should notify the Union of any change of address. NOTE: A copy of the AEC’s election report can be obtained from the Union or from me after the completion of the election.

Jeff Webb

Returning Officer – 03 9285 7141

icon Vic No4 Branch Election Notice

icon VIc No4 Branch Individual Nomination Form

icon Vic No4 Branch Team Nomination Form

 
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