What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 22 April 2019 – 28 April 2019

Closing the Gap Report Identifies Institutionalised Racism
Kristopher Rallah-Baker, Australia’s first Indigenous ophthalmologist, has spoken out against institutionalised racism within Australia’s health care system. Dr Rallah-Baker, who presently serves as President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA), said that ‘blatant racism, degradation, bullying, harassment and racial vilification’ exist against indigenous Australian’s within the medical profession. While Dr Rallah-Baker was thankful for the support he received at University, he believed that ‘college training systems leave trainees disempowered and unable to defend themselves from superiors who have “absolute power” over their careers’. The recent 2019 Closing the Gap report corroborated Dr Rallah-Baker’s claims that ‘institutionalised racism, unconscious bias and cultural insensitivity … are real and their impact is real’. The report revealed that Australia ‘is not on track to reduce indigenous disadvantage across most target areas’. Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, lamented in light of the report that the ‘situation remains in an unforgivable state’.

Dr Guilty of Professional Misconduct for Comments About Women
A Melbourne doctor has been found guilty of professional misconduct (in the case of Medical Board of Australia v Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee [2019] TASHPT 3 (16 April 2019) and suspended for six weeks over online ‘rape’ comments. Last week, the Tasmanian Health Practitioners Tribunal made orders against Christopher Kwan Chen after the physician made ‘inappropriate remarks’ targeted at women. Dr Lee was quoted saying ‘women have no place in the medical profession’ and that ‘some women deserve to be raped’. At the time the posts were made Dr Lee was a registrar at the Royal Hobart Hospital. The President of the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has condemned Dr Lee’s remarks, saying the AMA denounces ‘such conduct in the strongest possible terms’. Dr Lee’s current employer, Box Hill Hospital, said it is reviewing the decision and considering further penalties.