AMA Summit to combat bullying, discrimination and harassment within the medical profession

Friday 20 November 2015
This Saturday, AMA Victoria is holding a Summit to combat the serious issue that is confronting the medical profession: bullying, discrimination and harassment.
The Summit will be attended by junior and senior doctors, hospital CEOs and Board members, medical administrators, delegates from the specialist Colleges and from the Department of Health & Human Services, and the Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.
“AMA Victoria is holding this Summit because the medical profession – of which we are the peak body – has a serious problem, and change is needed,” Dr Tony Bartone, President of AMA Victoria, said.
“We are holding this Summit because this behaviour has occurred within the medical profession for decades, and it must change.
“We must change what has, in some workplaces, become a cultural norm.
“Bullying, discrimination and harassment is cruel, unfair and extremely damaging. It is also illegal and forbidden in most employment contracts (including AMA Victoria’s EBA for public hospital doctors).
“The doctors and administrators who are attending the Summit are doing so because they too know it’s a problem, and importantly – they want to fix it.
“The change needs to come from the top and the bottom. No one group can do it alone. This needs to be system-wide, across the whole profession. The Summit will help facilitate this change by developing a strategy.
“The Summit will deliver outcomes, actions and responsibilities. I am confident that this will bring about lasting change, with mechanisms in place that will drastically reduce this behaviour, and for it to be recognised as unacceptable, just as racism is. And clear and safe reporting and complaint mechanisms need to be in place across the medical profession, free of reprisal”, Dr Bartone said.
Senior representatives from metropolitan and regional hospitals were invited, and the AMA is very pleased that so many will be in attendance tomorrow, including: The Austin, Bass Coast Health, Cabrini, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Monash Health, Royal Melbourne, The Royal Children’s, The Royal Women’s and St Vincent’s Hospital, to name a few.
MEDIA CONTACT: Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506
The Summit, a closed event, will take place on Saturday 21 November at Caulfield Racecourse. A media opportunity with Dr Bartone will take place at 9.45am on Saturday morning, outside the Committee Room – undercover, near the lifts (access via Gate 2, Station Street).
For further information on AMA Victoria’s stance on bullying, discrimination and harassment, please see our recent submissions to the Victorian Auditor-General Office’s audit, and also to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Issues’ Paper.
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