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.

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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Ararat’s healthcare put into question with Dorevitch taking over pathology testing

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is warning that healthcare standards for Ararat residents could be compromised with pathology testing being handed to Dorevitch Pathology at the conclusion of the tender process.

Paul Elliott, Executive Officer of the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria, said:

“The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is deeply troubled by reports that Dorevitch Pathology will be taking over pathology testing at Ararat given the extensive history Dorevitch has in taking pathology testing out of hospitals, where it’s needed the most.

“Around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis is based on a pathology test of one form or another. And on-time test results, like ambulance response times, are an absolutely vital element to delivering world-class health care.

“But we know that Dorevitch’s business model is to gut testing at local hospitals and do testing centrally in Melbourne. Taking testing out of the Ararat hospital would threaten the ongoing viability of current clinical services such as obstetrics, surgery and emergency department as turnaround times for tests blow out.

“In-hospital pathology testing and a full blood bank services are as important to delivering critical clinical services as doctors and nurses.

“Remarkably the local hospital board’s decision appears to be about offering basement bargain healthcare to the people of Ararat. In making this decision, the hospital board will see local jobs lost with the pay and conditions for pathology workers undermined.

“Dorevitch has a model of taking testing out of hospitals. We’ve seen it happen wherever Dorevitch have been contracted and we’ll see it happen in Ararat.

Mr Elliott concluded:

“The hospital board must deliver to the community an iron-clad undertaking from Dorevitch Pathology that all pathology testing and blood bank services will remain in the hospital – without it the Ararat community may find their hospital closing the emergency department and critical clinical services.”

Union office closed for Australia Day

Professional doesn’t mean a slave to excessive workloads

If you thought working through excessive workloads with insufficient staff is being professional, think again.

Being a medical scientist, a psychologist or a pharmacist, by the very nature of the professions and the work, of course means being a professional.  It is an issue that often comes up when discussing workplace issues like increasing workloads and insufficient staff available to cover workloads.

Unfortunately when the work keeps piling up without the staff supported needed, it can create significant pressure. It can create situations where people get over-worked and neglect their own health because they have to plough through the work. Indeed whenever these sorts of issues are raised, without doubt there are some that insist people should be ‘professionals’; that excessive workloads go with being a ‘professional’.

It’s not clear to us as to why raising issues about workloads is not being ‘professional’.

What we can say about being ‘professional’ is that there is nothing professional in allowing your health to deteriorate because managements are refusing to manage staffing levels and workloads appropriately. There is nothing ‘professional’ about having excessive workloads because managements refuse to employ sufficient staff to do the work. And there is nothing ‘professional’ about working unpaid through meal breaks and before rostered starts or longer hours in order to get normal work done.

In fact, excessive workloads rob you of your ability to be professional.

When you are stressed and overworked errors can occur and mistakes can be amplified. Stress and being overworked can lead to serious health problems leading to increased time away from work. As you will know, errors and mistakes can make a major difference in a diagnosis or treatment; or critically delay a diagnosis for urgent treatments to be established.

It’s when you’re stressed and overworked that you’re most at risk of being unprofessional.

Excessive workloads are not about you and your level of professionalism; it’s increasingly clear excessive workloads are about management refusing to properly manage staffing levels and workloads and ensuring the availability of sufficient staff to undertake the workload.

Remember: No Pay? No Way!

Happy New Year 2015

We’re back and fired up for 2015! And we're looking forward to working with you all to protect our rights at work and our professions in 2015.

Happy New Year from everyone at the Union! We hope you had a safe and enjoyable festive season.

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