Page 3738 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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conclude that this has been a longstanding cultural issue between senior clinicians and trainee clinicians that dates back decades and decades. It is not something which is isolated to the Canberra Hospital; it is embedded, as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons have themselves acknowledged, in the training culture of just about every training hospital around the country.

The KPMG report is very clear. Our problem is no better, but it is no worse, than the circumstances that are faced across training hospitals across the country. What we have to do is respond to this circumstance. The profession as a whole is responding to the circumstance. What I would say in relation to the AMA is: “Where has the AMA been for the past three decades on this matter?” At the very least, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has taken ownership of and responsibility for this critical issue. This comes down to the culture between senior doctors and junior doctors, between the doctors who do the training and the doctors who are trained. We know that the conduct and the behaviour of some of those doctors are simply unacceptable.

We are responding to this issue in a clear and very decisive way. I have commissioned the establishment of a clinical leadership committee, drawing upon the clinical leaders across our hospital system, with the management of the hospital itself, to deliver on each and every one of the recommendations of that report—and, indeed, the report of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. I have met with the local chapter of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. They support this course of action. They take ownership of the issues they face as a profession, and they are doing something about it. I will work with the AMA to make sure that they are engaged as well.

I will not accept criticism that says that this is going to fail when, quite frankly, the profession has not taken responsibility for this matter for many decades. I draw the attention of those opposite to the conclusions of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is very clear: they say this is a cultural issue at the heart of their profession and it needs to be addressed by them as a profession. We agree. We will support the profession and we will work with the profession to address this cultural problem because, ultimately, we want an environment where our doctors are trained in a respectful environment, in a professional environment and in an environment that encourages excellence. That is our focus as a government.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why are you attacking the AMA for what the report found was actually ACT Health management “providing positive reinforcement for aspiring bullies”?

MR CORBELL: I am not attacking anyone. I am drawing the attention of the Assembly to a simple truth, and that is that the medical profession, for a long time, has not taken ownership of this issue and has not responded to it as a cultural issue within their profession. They have not done so, but they are now, and we welcome that now and we will support the profession in their response.

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