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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 646 ..


none of whom, during the four years of my time as minister, have raised any concerns around the obstetric service at Canberra Hospital. The AMA first raised this issue with me in early January this year. I have not received any information from the college of obstetricians about any concerns they have about TCH as the national body representing obstetricians in the ACT.

I can stand here and say that prior to last Wednesday I have not received any complaints at all about concerns of bullying and harassment at the Canberra Hospital. The review will examine whether those allegations are substantiated. The review will look at matters—I do not know whether Mrs Dunne just could not read the line there—including whether there are broader systemic issues which would be considered. So it is a broader examination of issues there. I do not think that anyone who understands the obstetric community, and the politics that exist between doctors, would deny that there are difficult relationships amongst doctors. That is what I was referring to. If I created any uncertainty in question time about that, I apologise, but that is the issue that I was referring to.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.54): I rise to speak in full support of Mr Hanson’s timely and important motion about making sure we are able to deliver the highest possible standard of health care to Canberrans and those from our region that use the territory’s medical resources.

It does not matter if you are talking about a hospital, a school, an accounting firm, government offices, a retail store, a service sector or labouring; the culture of a workplace is a key determinant when evaluating outcomes. In this instance, it is health outcomes.

Today’s motion is not about us attributing blame or trying to be human resource experts; it is about the Assembly acknowledging that there is a problem within the obstetrics department at the Canberra Hospital and that we must seek to have it addressed.

We read in the Canberra Times on Monday, 22 February 2009 that:

Several former Canberra Hospital obstetrics registrars have filed formal complaints to the Royal College of … Gynaecologists about endemic bullying.

Endemic bullying, in any and all circumstances, must be taken seriously. When there are concerns that such behaviour could affect the quality of health care provided to Canberrans, we are compelled to take action.

Dr Foote from the ACT Regional Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has outlined his concerns in a number of media outlets of late. Professionals from such respected bodies do not go public lightly. In my relatively brief time in this place, I have witnessed professionalism and caution from peak bodies, so when concerns are raised we must take them very seriously.

Part (1)(c) of Mr Hanson’s motion highlights the severity of the situation. It says:


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