Australian Medical Association ACT president Antonio Di Dio thinks he could write a depressing list 100 long of brilliant clinicians to have left ACT's public health system in the past few years.
He says years of cultural problems and poor management within ACT's public health system have come at a cost for Canberra.
Dr Di Dio welcomed the interim report from the independent review into the workplace culture of ACT health services released on Friday, and said it must lead to real change.
While the association had called for a more substantial board of inquiry, he's a self confessed optimist and hopeful the latest review of ACT's public health system's cultural problems will be the one to lead to real change.
Reviews on the issue are nothing new, with a 2015 KPMG report revealing similar systemic issues, but recommendations were not fully implemented.
Dr Di Dio said the report vindicated the concerns the association had been raising for years, often falling on deaf ears.
"What I have found really distressing personally is the quality of the people who are disengaged," he said.
"They are not just one particular group of doctors. Some of them are among the most senior and brilliant doctors we have in our entire health system.
"They are doing their jobs really well, but what they've disengaged from is doing all the extra things that would be ideal in a health system: taking on leadership roles and new and exciting projects.
"Because they've done all those things and had their fingers burnt.
"I could give you an extremely depressing list of well over 100 people who have been lost to [Canberra] over the past few years.
"The vast majority of those have not complained, they've just quit and moved on."
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT secretary Matthew Daniel said if this review did not lead to change he feared for the future.
He said it was remarkable that despite all the problems, good care had continued.
"You really can't continue to rely on the good will of people forever," Mr Daniel said.
Mr Daniel welcomed the report and was unsurprised by the breadth and depth of dissatisfaction.
"We have for a number of years tried to raise these issues at all levels of government," he said.
"You always try to work things through in the right way but it's very difficult to deal with the bureaucracy."
He said health's paternalistic response to the federation's concerns about mental health nurse safety in recent months has been symbolic of a culture that's been in denial.
"[Mental health's] only one area, there are other divisions where it's been very difficult," Mr Daniel said.
"Unfortunately staff become broken over time, their resilience worn down."
Opposition health spokeswoman Vicki Dunne said the report showed the opposition was right to push for a full board of inquiry to investigate allegations of bullying and harassment.
"This is a terribly sick system that has been created by the neglect and incompetence of successive Labor governments," she said.
"Doctors, nurses, midwives and hospital staff have all spoken out against Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris and Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury’s toxic system.
"The Labor-Greens ministers’ ongoing response was to attack everyone’s credibility but their own.
"Eventually, they caved to a groundswell of pressure and instigated this review."
She said she remained concerned victims would be denied the opportunity for reconciliation and closure.
"To that end, it remains my firm view that there must be a Board of Inquiry with the powers of a Royal Commission into the health system," Mrs Dunne said.
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