Move to stamp out bullying and harassment during surgery

Stock image.
Stock image.

STAMPING out bullying during surgery is the goal of a new collaboration between the East Metropolitan Health Service and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

A statement of intent was signed this week to launch specific initiatives to tackle the issue at Midland Hospital, Armadale Health Service, Kalamunda Hospital, Bentley Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital.

RACS WA Committee chair Dr Stephen Rodrigues said it was vital that medical colleges and hospitals worked together to create safe training and work environments, free from discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.

“In the past, bullying has been a real problem in surgery and in the heath sector as a whole,” he said.

“It is essential, not only for the wellbeing of our entire workforce but for the wellbeing of our patients too, that we work together to build a culture of respect where all healthcare professionals can realise their full potential free from discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment.”

EMHS Deputy Board Chair Suzie May said the board, executive and staff were committed to providing a safe and supportive workplace.

“We’re pleased to partner with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to work towards our shared goal of a workplace free of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment,” she said.

“Our staff are our greatest assets and EMHS is committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe and supportive working environment for our people, who dedicate so much of their lives to help others.

“We know that staff welfare and quality patient care go hand-in-hand. Providing a safe and supportive workplace not only benefits our staff, but also improves patient outcomes.”

Specific initiatives in the agreement signed between EMHS and RACS include:

– Working together on standards for accreditation of training posts in hospitals

– Supporting greater diversity within the surgical profession

– Working towards sharing information about complaints relating to unacceptable behaviour

– Collaborating on the development of programs and processes to deal with unacceptable behaviour

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