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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 597 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 June 2020 by Hon Aaron Stonehouse

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

ROYAL PERTH HOSPITAL — BULLYING ALLEGATIONS

597. Hon AARON STONEHOUSE to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I refer the Minister for Health to a story published by Nathan Hondros on the WAtoday website yesterday, 15 June 2020, titled '''Generational war' rages at RPH with dozens of senior Perth doctors accused of bullying''.

(1) How many doctors and surgeons between the ages of 40 and 65 years have resigned or withdrawn their services from Royal Perth Hospital in the past 12 months?

(2) How many accusations of bullying have been lodged in that period, how many have been investigated, and how many are still under investigation?

(3) Does the minister recognise a system that was described in the article as being heavy-handed, unfair and broken; and, if he does, what does he intend to do to turn it around and increase the retention rate of qualified senior staff?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) Ten doctors have resigned and a further seven have retired in the past 12 months. Reasons for staff resignations are not recorded.

(2) No formal bullying complaints have been lodged in the past 12 months.

(3) The Western Australian health system has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and all staff members are encouraged to report inappropriate behaviour to ensure it can be appropriately investigated, with disciplinary action taken as required. In addition, all health service providers, including the East Metropolitan Health Service, have integrity and misconduct processes in place to ensure staff feel supported and empowered to discuss any concerns. Royal Perth Bentley Group has a total senior consultant salaried workforce of 450 staff. The resignations in the past 12 months equate to 2.2 per cent of this workforce.