An unspoken issue facing Victoria’s healthcare system is the continued strain its under because of the impact of a larger than usual surge in people presenting with colds and flus, the colder months having arrived alongside the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The entire sector is under enormous pressure. Workload/understaffing pressures are severely impacting private health, pathology, aged care and disability in exactly the same way public health is being impacted.

With such a confluence of issues, there will be a strong temptation to work through meal and rest breaks or come in early and stay after the shift ends.

I know how committed and dedicated members are to delivering their very best each shift to ensure patients get the best care we can deliver but we have to remember that regularly working extra hours is a very significant cause of workload stress and injury.

The Union’s concern is not just that members won’t be remunerated for their commitment and dedication, it also puts members’ mental and physical health at risk.

We know there is a lot of stress and anxiety with the enormous workloads while dealing with a pandemic. Working under such conditions has a very real impact on your physical and mental health and well-being.

There is a growing extensive amount of research into the impacts of high workloads and unpaid work as contributing to the poor health and well-being of workers in healthcare.

We’re not advocating that you don’t put in your best, however we are advocating that you put your health first in order to be able to properly care for patients.

That means taking your meal and rest breaks and making sure that you leave on time when your shift ends.

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