Queensland Health meme makes light of employee burnout


On 2 April 2022, Queensland Health posted a video to their Instagram account with the wording: "When someone asks my caffeine-fuelled, sleep deprived self who is responsible for my burnout", then shows a video of actor Julia Fox saying: “I actually did it myself. Yeah.”

AMA Queensland wrote to Shaun Drummond, Acting Director-General, Queensland Health seeking an apology for the post, stating "The Queensland Health meme was not only insensitive and disrespectful but a blatant disregard for the collective action to address burnout and mental health issues within our profession." Please see a copy of the letter to the right. 

Our letter cited studies showing doctors had higher rates of suicidal ideation and psychological distress than the Australian population. While the post was intended to be humorous, it sends a message that health workers are to deal with psychological distress and inability to cope on their own. We believe the medical workforce need to know their mental health and wellbeing is valued and supported and asked that the apology be made to all Queensland Health employees. 

Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland has actively campaigned for the improved health and wellbeing of doctors. Campaigns such as ‘We are medicine and we are human’ and ‘Self-Care September’ have emphasised the impact medicine as a career has on the mental health of our practitioners.

Queensland Health responded to our letter and stated: "the intention of the Facebook post in question, was to raise awareness to our social media followers in the broader community, who come from an array of backgrounds, of the impact of burnout, and share some self-care tips that people can consider in their everyday lives to prioritise their health."

"We regret this post may have caused distress, which was certainly not the intention, and was
removed as a result to this feedback."

The Acting Director-General said an apology was issued to all staff in the regular weekly message, which also thanked staff for their hard work.