10 February 2019
The Junior Medical Officers who recently started back at public hospitals will benefit from several new projects under a $1 million package aimed at improving their health and wellbeing.

NSW Health Deputy Secretary, People, Culture and Governance Phil Minns, said the JMO Be Well Program has provided funding for eight new projects across the state over the next three years.

“The NSW Government is committed to addressing burnout and mental health issues among our hardworking young doctors with local programs that best address their needs,” Mr Minns said.

“It is part of a comprehensive plan to improve the training and working environment of Junior Medical Officers and ensure they have a long, rewarding career in our world-class public health system.”

As at June 2018 there were 7,693 full time equivalent Junior Medical Officers working for NSW Health, an increase of 18 per cent over the past five years.

The new projects are in addition to the JMO Wellbeing and Support Plan launched in November 2017.

 “I’m confident these initiatives will provide a real benefit to Junior Medical Officers as they progress through their training,” Mr Minns said.

The new projects follow the release of the second Your Training and Wellbeing Matters Survey, which shows the number of junior doctors who agree their hospital supports junior doctor training has increased, up five percentage points to 74 per cent.

The eight new projects under the JMO Be Well Program are:

  • Nepean Blue Mountains: Enhancing JMO mental health and wellbeing through culture interventions. A project to assist JMOs to assess, monitor and optimise their wellbeing through programs administered by trained facilitators, backed up by targeted research to identify cultural factors influencing JMOs confidence, performance and wellbeing.
  • Sydney Local Health District: BTOK for JMOs. Funding to expand the rollout of the successful BPTOK program to all interns, residents and senior resident medical officers.
  • South Eastern Sydney LHD; JMO Mental Health First Aid – train the trainer. A project to train those who supervise and work with JMOs in techniques to assist JMOs in distress or facing difficulties in the workplace.
  • St Vincent’s Hospital Network: Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Junior Doctors. A project to specifically support Aboriginal junior doctors in their training, and encourage them into leadership positions.
  • Murrumbidgee LHD: Pre-Reg Ready! A program to assist JMOs with the stresses and pressures of rural rotations and in transition to more senior roles.
  • Northern Sydney Local Health District: Rethinking the Medical Workforce at Royal North Shore Hospital. A project to undertake a systematic evidence based evaluation of JMOs’ workloads to identify areas of pressure and develop solutions, such as workforce redistribution and work substitution.
  • Hunter New England LHD: Return to Work Program for JMOs. A program to assist JMOs with returning to work after an absence, such as parental leave, using simulation techniques.
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD: Balint group support for JMOs. This project introduces an established technique of facilitated group programs to assist JMOs support both patients and each other.

More details about wellbeing initiatives and the JMO survey are available on the NSW Health website at www.health.nsw.gov.au/jmo-wellbeing and www.health.nsw.gov.au/training-wellbeing-survey