3 May 2016
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) today launched
a campaign to help deal effectively with discrimination, bullying
and sexual harassment in surgery.
Let's Operate With Respect is a
call to action for the 7,000 surgeons and 1,300 Trainees and
International Medical Graduates in Australia and New Zealand.
'We know these problems are common throughout the health sector,
but it's up to us to improve things in surgery,' said RACS
President, Professor David Watters OBE.
It is now more than a year since the College was in the national
spotlight because of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment
in surgery. In March 2015, RACS appointed an Expert Advisory Group
to advise it on the extent of these problems and what the College
should do about them. The College accepted all the recommendations
made in the EAG report and launched its Action Plan: Building
Respect, Improving Patient Safety.
The Let's Operate With Respect campaign aims to get
surgeons talking about these problems and support culture change in
the profession. It marks the start of a new, long-term effort
supporting the roll out of the RACS Action Plan, which details the
work RACS is doing in education, complaints management and culture
Speaking at the RACS Annual Scientific Congress in Brisbane,
Professor Watters said the campaign marked an opportunity for the
profession and reflected a serious commitment from the College.
'We know that these have been real problems for our profession.
Too many of us have seen or experienced them and things have to
change,' Professor Watters told the ASC.
'We want to build respect, improve patient safety, ensure health
workers have a safe and supportive workplace, and deal with
discrimination, bullying and harassment in surgery,' Professor
RACS has published a dedicated new section of its website - About respect. There
is also a video with surgeons talking about respect, posters for
workplaces, individual stories, and an opportunity for individuals
to show their support.
'This is a campaign about surgeons, for surgeons. We are
creating opportunities for all of us to get involved and show
leadership on this important issue. We can shape our culture and
the future of our profession around respect,' Professor Watters
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