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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon has said that any culture of sexual harassment in our health system needs urgent attention.
His comment follows a recent sexual harassment survey conducted by the AMA (WA), which saw almost 1,000 replies over a three day period.
“The survey results were a shocking read, and highlight just how endemic this problem is,” Dr Gannon said.
“Sexual harassment in this day and age, in a profession with a proud history of gender diversity, is a complete and utter disgrace.
“This is a problem that we need to make sure will not be swept under the carpet – it needs to be dealt with immediately,” he said.
The AMA (WA) will hold a meeting this week involving senior and junior doctors, female and male doctors, to discuss the problem and find ways to address it.
In the meantime, Dr Gannon is urging any victims of sexual assault to report it to the police.
“We know that sexual assault cases are often under-reported, due to a range of factors.
“But I urge all medical professionals to report any cases of sexual harassment to the relevant authorities, and assure them that they have the Association’s complete and unequivocal support,” Dr Gannon said.
Dr Gannon also thanked Health Minister Dr Kim Hames for his support in this important issue.
“It is important that we change the behaviour of that minority of people in our profession. One case is too many. But the scale of the problem has staggered me. We should all work together to ensure that this change is brought about,” Dr Gannon said.