Media release

Hospital sexual assault review welcome

AMA Queensland has been advocating for action on sexual assaults and harassment of hospital healthcare workers for close to a decade. The Independent Review is a welcome move from the Queensland Government.

AMA Queensland welcomes the announcement of an independent review into sexual assault policies and procedures at Queensland hospitals.

“We have been calling for action on sexual assaults and harassment in hospitals since we first surveyed junior doctors nine years ago,” AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton said.

“This is a direct result of our advocacy and our continued meetings with Queensland Health and individual Hospital and Health Services (HHSs).

“The review is a very welcome addition to the new laws brought in last year making HHS boards directly responsible for proactively promoting a culture that supports health, safety and wellbeing of their staff at work, and the Sexual Harassment Summit, both of which are a result of AMA Queensland advocacy.”

Dr Boulton and AMA Queensland Committee of Doctors in Training (CDT) Chair Dr Elise Witter have written to all HHSs with practical measures that can be taken immediately to improve workplace safety for Queensland Health frontline workers.

“We have been highlighting safety at work through the Resident Hospital Health Check (RHHC) every year,” Dr Witter said.

“In the most recent survey, one in three doctors in training reported that they had felt unsafe at work, while 31 per cent said they had experienced bullying, discrimination or harassment.

“CDT has developed a set of recommendations for measures that can be implemented in the short term to help improve the wellbeing of doctors in training, including increased access to security when walking to car parks at night, safe bike and scooter storage, and dedicated wellbeing officers and champions.

“Dr Boulton and I have raised these in meetings with HHSs and the response has been very positive.”


  • The first AMA Queensland and ASMOFQ (Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Queensland) Resident Hospital Health Check was carried out in 2016. The 2024 RHHC will open soon.
  • In 2023, 723 junior doctors across 37 hospitals took part.
  • 33 per cent reported that they had felt unsafe at work (28 per cent in 2022).
  • 31 per cent reported experiencing bullying/discrimination/harassment, with a further 8 per cent witnessing one or more of these behaviours. 25 per cent said they reported the incident and 74 per cent were concerned that reporting the matter might lead to negative consequences.

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