Casual and Temporary Employment in NSW Regional Hospitals
The hospital industry in Australia has been subjected to widespread change in the last 20 years. Previous chapters of this book have demonstrated that significant workplace change has taken place in the hospital industry, as evidenced by the introduction of new management practices such as benchmarking and enterprise bargaining. These have been initiated as a response to public sector fiscal austerity and the introduction of private-sector practices under the auspices of New Public Management. There has been an overall increase in per capita health expenditure in Australia in the last 25 years (AIHW, 1998, p. 163). However, it has not kept pace with increased demand for services due to an ageing population. It is here that demand-side pressures have contributed. Evident is an increasing role for the private sector, and a diminishing public sector share of health expenditure. This has been encouraged by a federal government, keen to promote private treatment through tax rebates for private health insurance as a means of reducing public sector waiting lists. One consequence of fiscal austerity has been work intensification, compounded by the ‘caring work ethic’ displayed by health sector professionals.
KeywordsPublic Hospital Private Hospital Temporary Employee Healthcare Industry Permanent Employee
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