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ACM and RANZCOG – Joint statement on DBSH

26 September 2022

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) have issued a joint statement on discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and harassment (DBSH).

Every healthcare worker is entitled to a respectful workplace and training environment free from discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and harassment. Any form of these behaviours is unacceptable and poses a risk to the mental and physical health of staff, and to the safety of patients.

The healthcare landscape in which obstetricians, GP obstetricians, midwives, doctors in training and midwifery students work together can be challenging. This has been heightened more recently, owing in part to the pandemic and the immense pressure that the workforce, and particularly our frontline healthcare workers, are under.
While each day brings new challenges, the mission remains the same for us all; to provide women/wahine, their babies/pēpi and their families/whānau with the best health outcomes and care possible. Disrespectful behaviour directly undermines this shared goal.

Many of our members, trainees and students report experiencing gender bias, discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and harassment. This is not okay.
We acknowledge that there are systemic issues within our workplaces and in our broader society that need to be addressed. These are causing burnout, exhaustion and stress, but these never justify bullying or discriminatory behaviour. We can advocate for system change while personally modelling respect, calling out unacceptable behaviour and valuing the specialised knowledge and skills each person brings to our work.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) make a commitment to each other and ourselves, to encourage collaboration, kindness and respect, which fosters positive environments (or workplaces), free from bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment.
This commitment will bring out the best in ourselves, our teams, as well as the services we provide women, their babies and their families, and to the community at large.

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