Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital facing teaching accreditation ban

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RACS executive director of surgical affairs Dr John Quinn told Xinhua that no ban has yet been initiated and that the ward's accreditation is still under review, although due to the uncertainty, no trainees had been allocated for 2019.

SYDNEY, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- One of Sydney's most highly regarded teaching hospitals, Royal Prince Alfred (RPA), faces a ban on accreditation to one of it's departments following allegations of bullying and harassment, local media reported on Friday.

"The cardiothoracic department at RPA will be fully staffed next year and will continue to provide the full range of world class cardiothoracic services to the community," Anderson said.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has withheld training accreditation for RPA's cardiothoracic surgery department in 2019 following a review in May which revealed incidents of bullying and harassment on that ward.

Speaking on behalf of the hospital, Sydney Local Health District chief executive Dr Teresa Anderson said that the ban will not affect patient services.

"We're aware that bullying is prevalent in the community generally, in all spheres of life, but we're very aware that it's happening in the medical field," Quinn said.

The New South Wales State public health system, of which RPA is a part, has faced many allegations of misconduct in the past, including a recent survey which revealed that more than one in three staff had witnessed bullying in the past 12 months.

"There's a number of courses that are being done to try and change the culture in surgery to decrease the incidents of bullying -- it's a very big problem, we're very concerned about it and we're trying to change that."

"The accreditation is being reviewed and we expect that it will be reinstated in 2019," Quinn said.