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EAG delivers final report to RACS

EAG delivers final report to RACS

The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) has delivered its final report on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

The final report includes some minor amendments and points of clarification, informed by feedback on the draft report published on 10 September 2015. A list of changes follows this media release.

The report reflects the findings and feedback from five major pieces of work commissioned by the EAG in 2015, all of which are published on the -RACS website and include quantitative, qualitative and organisational research.

The EAG's focus was on providing strategic advice to the College to support future change. "The College has shown courage and commitment in establishing the EAG and in accepting in full the findings and recommendations of the draft report," said EAG Chair, the Hon. Rob Knowles AO.

RACS has committed to publishing an Action Plan in November 2015, that will introduce more transparency and independent scrutiny and drive changes in the three core areas identified in the EAG report: Culture and leadership, surgical education and complaints management.

Mr Knowles said the College's apology to those who have suffered discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment was fitting and just.

"We recognise the College's commitment to action that will create the change necessary to address and prevent these problems into the future," Mr Knowles said.

The term of the EAG concluded on 21 September 2015.

"As individuals, we will watch with interest as the College, the Specialty Societies, the Training Boards, as well as Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates, work effectively together and with others in the health sector to achieve lasting change," Mr Knowles said.

RACS President, Professor David Watters OBE, thanked members of the EAG for the commitment, intellect and heart they brought to their task.

"The EAG Report is an important historical milestone for this College - it presents us with a challenge to act, which we will do decisively," Professor Watters said.

"We know we will be judged on our ability to make the profound changes needed to make discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery problems of the past," Professor Watters said.

"Change will take time, but we have made a commitment to it that we will honour," he said.

The EAG set a direct challenge for the College, hospitals, governments and other partners in the health sector to work together to address these shared problems. RACS will now be working with Specialty Societies and Training Boards, and seeking external partners, to make sure these issues are addressed effectively in the short, medium and longer term.


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