Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1578 ..
in the emergency department and in wards, security, administration and human resources. On 16 April the AMA called for an investigation into bullying. Minister, for how long have you known about bullying in the ACT public health sector, and what have you done about it?
MS FITZHARRIS: Mr Parton failed to mention that I have also written, as I believe was reported, to Calvary to outline my concerns with the issues that were raised and to say that, as the funder of public hospital services at Calvary, I would like further advice from Calvary on the matters that were raised. I have received an initial response from Calvary and I look forward to further advice from Calvary about how those particular issues are being addressed. I do believe it is the case that Calvary are also working with WorkSafe ACT on some recommendations that were made, and I look forward to that work continuing.
Mr Coe: A point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Coe.
Mr Coe: It is on relevance. Whilst the minister answered the latter part of Mr Parton’s question, the first part was: for how long have you known about bullying in the ACT public health sector? I ask that she be directly relevant to that question.
MADAM SPEAKER: Have you got any more to add, minister?
MS FITZHARRIS: No.
MR PARTON: Minister, will you be heeding the AMA’s call for an investigation, and what form will that investigation take?
MS FITZHARRIS: I referred to that in my previous answer and reiterated the calls for those matters to be fully investigated. That is a matter for Calvary.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, why have both Calvary hospital and Canberra Hospital had chronic bullying problems and harassment problems over the past decade, and what, apart from platitudinous statements like “zero tolerance”, will you do to ensure that there is an end to bullying in the public hospital system?
MS FITZHARRIS: Mrs Dunne goes back well beyond my time and probably to times even prior to self-government. It is the case that I think every health minister in the country, of any political persuasion, would wish that there were not instances of bullying in their organisations. I know that in meetings with the AMA and the various royal colleges, they are very clear that they will not tolerate bullying in the medical profession. I know that in the case of the ANMF, they do very important work with nurses and midwives to make sure that there is not bullying.
Organisations must have clear policies and procedures in place. It is everyone’s responsibility to build a healthy culture. I outlined this morning, extensively, the approach that ACT Health takes to bullying. I also outlined quite extensively my clear direction to the interim director-general and the senior staff at ACT Health that they