Statement from the President, RACP on safe and respectful working environment

In response to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) ‘Improving surgical workplace culture’ news 6 February 2019

I am very saddened to see another story in the media this week of the effects of bullying and unsafe work practices such as excessive working hours on junior doctor health and wellbeing.

Bullying or harassment of any kind is totally unacceptable; towards Fellows, trainees (accredited or unaccredited), colleagues or staff. The RACP has zero tolerance for such behaviour.

While there is much that has been done to improve the working hours and culture in medicine, more needs to be done to address the untenable working hours and unacceptable behaviour in hospitals and training sites.

As indicated in our new accreditation standards, our expectation is that all training sites provide a safe, respectful working and learning environment and addresses any behaviour that undermines self and/or professional confidence as soon as it is evident.

I acknowledge that improving workplace culture involves shared and overlapping areas of responsibility. The RACP is committed to working with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, other Colleges, prevocational organisations, employers, members and stakeholders to support the highest standards of professional, respectful and supportive behaviour in all our activities.

The RACP is a signatory to the NSW Statement of Agreed Principles on Respectful Culture in Medicine.  We will continue to commit to this work to support and build a safe and respectful culture of working and training and high-quality patient-care.

A/Prof Mark Lane
President, RACP.

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