Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (18 November) . .
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. It is the case that doctors do need to be part of the conversation, and many doctors are. But the review process was a voluntary process that engaged doctors. It was up to doctors to choose to engage with that, and multiple opportunities were provided to them. The government cannot compel doctors to engage in this process. What we know is that many doctors who feel that they have been part of a culture that displays inappropriate behaviour are often reluctant to talk about it for fear of recrimination. So it is of little surprise that this is the difficult dynamic that we are seeking to deal with.
I have been very encouraged by the engagement of senior doctors at the hospital and very encouraged by the engagement of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the ACT chapter, who have strongly supported the response that the government has set out to the review. We will be working with all of our medical staff, their representative bodies, their industrial bodies and their professional bodies to make sure that we have as broad ranging a discussion as possible and that we are able to start to tackle these very difficult issues. It is for that reason, of course, that I have established the clinical culture committee, which has representatives of senior doctors, representatives of junior doctors and representatives of the executive leadership of the hospital, coming together and taking responsibility for the implementation of all of the recommendations outlined in the KPMG report.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, why was the review specifically targeted only at doctors?
MR CORBELL: The review is a direct response to the issues raised about training culture at the hospital, in particular the training culture between senior doctors and junior doctors. That is why the review is focused in that way. That is where the issues were particularly identified. They arose out of a broader national discussion about the fact that this culture exists nationally across training in hospitals. When it comes to our key training hospital, which is the Canberra Hospital, the central focus is the relationship between the senior doctors and the junior doctors they train.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, have you met regarding this matter since the beginning of the review with the AMA regarding the cultural issue? If so, when?
MR CORBELL: Yes I have; earlier this month.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, what is the time line for an improvement and what will be the method of measuring improvement at the Canberra Hospital with regard to this cultural issue between doctors?
MR CORBELL: Appropriate parameters for measuring improvement will be one of the issues that I will be seeking further advice from the clinical culture committee on,
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