Legislative Council: Thursday, October 20, 2022


Medical Specialists, Enterprise Bargaining

The Hon. C. BONAROS (15:12): Supplementary: are those offers just outlined by the Attorney counterproductive to retaining or recruiting medical staff, especially given the shortages that currently apply across the health system?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:12): I thank the honourable member for her follow-up question. It is the case that this has been the situation for many, many years, as I said, under both Labor and Liberal governments in South Australia. I am not sure, if you were to amortise it as a full yearly wage, what the wage of a visiting medical specialist or a clinical academic would be, but I am quite sure that would be very substantial and certainly a lot more than the salaried medical officers, whose agreement was concluded, I think, as I said, in February.

I don't think it is just the wages for some of the upper echelons of those medical specialists that are taken into account. There are many other factors, including working conditions but also lifestyle choices people make about where they choose to live and work, including family, cost of living and housing prices. I take the honourable member's point, but I think there will be other factors taken into account. In answer, I don't think it is counterproductive to keep employing the same formula that has been used over many years in South Australia.