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The Victorian Government has announced a new strategy to reduce bullying and harassment in the public health system.

Our pathway to change: Eliminating bullying and harassment in healthcare was developed in response to a recent Victorian Auditor-General report, which identified the scope of the issues facing the system.

“Our health care workers are entitled to go about their work free of harassment and bullying, and where a culture of respect is non-negotiable,” said Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health.

“No change is not an option.”

The new strategy will be overseen by an advisory committee, headed by former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Helen Szoke. It will bring together a range of interested parties, including hospitals, unions, training colleges, Worksafe, the Victorian Public Sector Commission and the Australian Medical Association Victoria.

Highlights of the plan include an anti-bullying ‘flying squad’, which will identify and support health services with poor culture and higher levels of bullying and harassment. Other initiatives include education programs for health service boards and leaders, audit measures through the sector’s involvement in the People Matters Survey and performance monitoring to hold health services to account.

The strategy can be found here.