8 January 2021


In this Update: 

  • COVID-19

  • VSPs

  • Elective Surgery

  • KordaMentha weekly updates

  • TQEH protected lunch breaks for TMOs

  • Intern orientation 2021





  • PPE Decision Matrix


The revised PPE decision matrix is now published and accessible via the SA Health website: Click here for the PDF resource link

  • Closure of Hospital Food Outlets and Offsite Meal Breaks


The most recent COVID-19 Outbreak and lockdown in South Australia resulted in an immediate decision by the Department for Health and Wellbeing to cease the provision of food and cafeteria services at the hospitals.  Given the industrial instruments obligate the employer to provide these services to medical officers SASMOA advocated for the continued opening of the services during the lockdown period.  In addition, as employees, medical officers are not required to stay on site during an unpaid meal break and it was unclear whether the employer intended to prohibit clinicians from leaving the hospital sites during meal breaks.


Given the circumstances surrounding this particular lockdown, which was lifted after a very brief duration, café services within hospitals were reopened. It was however agreed by the employer that further discussion with Unions would occur on accessing food and café services if similar circumstances arose in the future.  The Unions are still awaiting from the employer, a draft process for the provision of food services in the event similar circumstances arise.




CALHN has advised it will be recommencing assessment of outstanding Expressions of Interest (EOIs) and Registrations of Interest (ROIs) from the 2019-20 VSP program that have been previously submitted by CALHN employees.


An assessment of these outstanding VSP applications will be occurring by relevant Program Leads and Executives. It is expected that employees with an outstanding EOI or ROI will receive an outcome recommendation and information about next steps before Friday 29 January 2021.  Following the notification of recommendation, any VSP that is proposed to be supported will be subject to an analysis and consultation process of a similar structure to what occurred for the 2019/20 VSP program.




Prior to the Christmas break, SASMOA sought further information from CALHN pertaining to the employer’s instruction to various surgical services, that CALHN will, in February 2021 permanently reduce by 6%, elective surgery and TS stock across CALHN surgical services. CALHN advised, depending on the Unit, this reduction could be greater than 6%.  CALHN has advised SASMOA that the employer has requested from each Unit a detailed plan how this instruction will be managed within the programs. SASMOA has been advised by CALHN that this decision has been taken to address the $200 million-dollar CALHN deficit.


The writer understands this instruction may impact on individual unit wait lists, registrar training and various other industrial issues however the employer has indicated to SASMOA where it impacts on patient care the reductions should not be implemented.


Such significant workplace change requires consultation with all clinicians and Unions.




Through Freedom of Information, access has been provided to weekly updates between 10 January 2020 to 17 April 2020 (COVID-19 strategies commenced) issued by Korda Mentha to the Department of Health and Wellbeing and to the Central Adelaide Local Health Networks senior executives.  The weekly updates below are for information but provide insight into the work being implemented by Korda Mentha and the employer relating to the medical officer workforce including the then SMOEA Enterprise Bargaining employer agenda (see in particular week of 6 March 2020).


  • 10 January 2020 (PDF)

  • 17 January 2020 (PDF)

  • 24 January 2020 (PDF)

  • 31 January 2020 (PDF)

  • 07 February 2020 (PDF)

  • 14 February 2020 (PDF)

  • 21 February 2020 (PDF)

  • 28 February 2020 (PDF)

  • 06 March 2020 (PDF)

  • 13 March 2020 (PDF)

  • 20 March 2020 (PDF)

  • 27 March 2020 (PDF)

  • 03 April 2020 (PDF)

  • 09 April 2020 (PDF)

  • 17 April 2020 (PDF)




Well done to the TQEH in commencing a protected lunch break program for TMOs.  The TQEH will be prioritising lunch breaks for TMOs and ensuring that there is at least a 30 minute to 1 hour uninterrupted meal break. This will allow TMOs to leave the wards for their meal breaks.  The same program will be shortly rolled out in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.




A big welcome to all the new Interns who will embark on the next stage of their medical career at CALHN. SASMOA looks forward to meeting with all the Interns at next week's Orientation.


Bernadette Mulholland

Chief Industrial Officer