Damning report uncovers "teaching by humiliation"

by L&D13 Jan 2016
A recent survey by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) ACT has revealed that bullying and harassment are rife in Canberra Hospitals.
 
The AMA’s Doctors in Training ACT survey revealed that 50% of junior doctors had been bullied and 4% had experienced sexual harassment in the past 12 months.
 
Moreover, 74% said they were expected to work unpaid overtime and 44% said they experienced unsafe working hours.
 
Fifty-eight per cent also said that there was not an adequate structure in place to report concerns, while 63% felt unable to raise concerns without recrimination.
 
Only 10% of respondents didn’t report any workplace problems.
 
The majority of respondents worked at Canberra Hospital, while others worked in Calvary, Goulburn and Bega Hospitals.
 
Suggestion made by members to improve the current culture included an end to “teaching by humiliation” from senior staff and more women in positions of authority.
 
AMA ACT president Elizabeth Gallagher said that this was a “whole of profession problem” which was not just specific to a single hospital or area.
 
“There’s no point picking problems in isolation and it’s not just a junior doctor problem, it’s up the line and we know it’s there,” she was quoted as saying by The Canberra Times.
 
“This is a big problem that’s been going on for many years and we can’t just change a culture overnight.”
 
Furthermore, a KPMG report on Canberra Hospital in October 2015 identified that 76% of respondents had observed bullying, discrimination and harassment, and complaints were unlikely to be resolved quickly or effectively.   

It included claims of sexual harrassment and propositions in the workplace, items thrown at staff, belittled complainants, public humiliation, and abusive phone calls and text messages. 

 

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