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Underpaid and overworked doctors have launched legal action against a hospital in Melbourne’s west

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Junior doctors have launched legal action against Sunshine Hospital, claiming they are working excessive hours, are underpaid, and are not given mandatory clinical training, which they say puts patients at risk.

Doctors at the western suburbs hospital say they’re working up to 65 hours per week, some of which they are not remunerated for, and rarely get time to do compulsory training.

Associate Professor Julian Rait, Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association, says it’s not an isolated case, but Sunshine Hospital appears to be the worst culprit.

“Across the state perhaps 30 per cent of doctors don’t get sufficient clinical training time, so it’s not just isolated to Sunshine, but Sunshine has been the source of the most complaints,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

Mr Rait said 37 of Victoria’s 83 health service employers are breaching employment requirements.

The Australian Medical Association is taking Sunshine Hospital and its operator, Western Health, to the Fair Work Commission after receiving many complaints.

“We’re hoping that particularly the case about the clinical training time, which is this protected time of ten hours a fortnight, will be honored and doctors will actually get the training they require,” Mr Rait said.

“These clinical training time are really essential to ensure doctors have the skills necessary to deal with emergency situations that they might not come across too frequently.”

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