Why join NZRDA?
Beginning your first year as a house officer is always daunting. As well as coming to grips with being a doctor you also need to understand what it means to be an employee. The RDA is here to help you deal with “all that contract stuff” and more. We are the only representative body that has your best interests at heart. We can help with a wide variety of problems – all you need to do is ask! Membership for TI’s is free! Just download an RDA membership application form below and forward to the NZRDA . You will receive:
- A copy of the quarterly Resident Doctor Journal
- Member updates
- Reminder to update your membership when starting as a HO
Please note that TI membership does not entitle you to voting rights.
Trainee Intern Questions
What follows is some simple advice on a number of issues that will affect you when you start work. You will be met at or shortly after you commence employment by NZRDA reps who will be able to give more information if you need and the reps will be around as the year progresses to help with anything that arises. You will also receive your own copy of MECA and a guide to MECA which helps explain your rights in easy to understand language, but hopefully what follows will get you started. The first section answers frequently asked questions. TIs themselves provided these questions, but if there is more you need to know, feel free to contact us on email@example.com. The second section covers issues that you need to think about before starting work: Indemnity Insurance and Superannuation.
Never ever be too scared to ask for help.
Obviously the person you talk to depends on the circumstances. You should be able to discuss clinical matters or problems with your seniors (registrar or consultant). If they are unavailable another colleague or duty manager may be the next best thing.
NZRDA has reps throughout New Zealand hospitals and we can pretty much help you with most things including clinical issues, personal issues and employment issues. Give us a call; we can usually point you in the right direction.
Remember most problems you encounter may seem big, but are not insurmountable. Most of us have seen them and been there before. Often all that is required is reassurance that you are doing the right thing or guidance to the right decision.
Before you think, “I’m too young for superannuation” or “with my huge debt I need to pay that off first” think again. Below is a graph, which demonstrates the benefits of early commencement of contributions. Essentially if you leave it, you never catch up.
Member 1 – $100 per month for 30 years with a return of 6% (net) – includes a 2% CPI increase
Member 2 – $200 per month for 15 years with a return of 6% (net) – includes a 2% CPI increase
Assumption: Although both members invest the same total contribution the effects of time almost doubled the return for Member 1.
RMOs are amongst the very few health sector employees to have 6% employer superannuation contributions available – courtesy of NZRDA’s negotiations on our member’s behalf we unashamedly cry!!
The RDA has a scheme that is transportable, allows us to suspend contributions for up to 2 years (and longer by agreement) in case we need to go overseas for instance. If you want more information on the scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is not the only scheme however, there is Kiwisaver and MAS has a scheme amongst others, so seek some independent financial advice before starting employment. Remember if you wish to “opt out” of Kiwisaver, you have to do so (at law) within the first 50 days of employment.
If you want to talk to NZRDA, you can contact us here.
MECA stands for Multi-Employer Collective Agreement. It is the employment contract under which you will be employed when you commence work. Don’t get confused by the wording of letters from the DHB. Most will refer to the MECA and inform you to contact NZRDA if you wish to remain covered. If you are a member of NZRDA, you will continue to be covered by that agreement and anything further which is negotiated by NZRDA in 2013 and beyond.
Finally, the legal stuff. We are obliged to tell you that unless you join NZRDA you will not be covered by our MECA and will be employed instead in an Individual Employment Agreement (an IEA), the renegotiation of which is for you to arrange with your employer.
We hope that the above is of assistance for starters. It is certainly only the basics having brushed over the key questions TIs have asked us to cover. If you would be interested in learning more and even being a rep yourself, there is a 4 day training session held each year in March. Just contact our office for further information.
Finally, if you can’t find anyone to ask whether the question is small or the event appears catastrophic contact NZRDA. No matter how large or small the problem, we are here to help. And by the way if it is “one of those moments” and it is 1300 hours on a Saturday – do call; it’s what we are here for.
There is a choice of indemnity providers in NZ:
- NZ Medical Professionals (NZMP) indemnity insurance is a NZ insurance company that specializes in medical indemnity insurance. It is 100% NZ owned and operated and governed under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.
- MPS is a friendly society (not an insurance company) run out of the UK and Ireland.
- Medicus is a NZ incorporated society in which members get insurance underwritten by an(other) insurance company (Aon).
NZMP: Over twenty years ago at the request of our members NZRDA arranged for a specifically tailored Indemnity Insurance scheme for RMOs known today as NZMP: NZRDA owns 15% of NZMP. Cover is available for all resident doctors and on into general practice or life as a consultant (SMO). The scheme also provides cover for working in Accident & Medical Centres, locums (here and in Australia) and charity work in the pacific.
The indemnity scheme has a team of experienced medico legal advisors to help you through potential problems. It is a simple matter of calling our toll free line, which is available 24 hours a day. The policy also has full tail cover. This means that if you were insured at the time the incident happened, you will be covered; no matter how long ago the incident occurred.
Joining is simple: when you are completing those endless employment forms for the DHBs, simply tick or confirm that you want to be covered by NZMP (AKA “the RDA scheme”). We will arrange the rest and you will receive confirmation of cover shortly after commencing employment.