The number of ACT Health staff reporting they had been bullied or harassed while at work rose sharply last financial year, despite the territory government vowing a workplace culture overhaul in the public health system.
Documents obtained by The Canberra Times have revealed 69 reports of bullying and harassment were formally investigated by ACT Health or Canberra Health Services during the 2018-19 financial year.
Figures show eight reports of bullying were investigated by ACT Health, the directorate in charge of policy decisions for the ACT public health system, last financial year.
A further 61 reports were investigated by Canberra Health Services, the directorate in charge of the day-to-day running of Canberra Hospital and other public health facilities.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said there was more work to do in changing the culture in the ACT's health system.
"There is an absolute zero tolerance to any form of bullying and harassment in the workplace," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
"More than 7500 people work across the ACT Health directorate and Canberra Health Services, and every one of them deserves to work in an environment that is free of bullying and harassment."
The 2018-19 figures were the first bullying and harassment figures recorded since ACT Health split into two separate bodies last year.
Figures for previous financial years were for a combined ACT Health directorate, before the split took place.
In 2018-19 three reports resulted in a misconduct process within Canberra Health Services.
Two made substantiated findings of bullying and harassment, while the third remained under investigation as of June 30 this year.
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A further two reports resulting in a misconduct process within ACT Health remain under investigation.
The documents also revealed multiple complaints for bullying and harassment were reported to the directorate's respect, equity and diversity contact officers - staff members who are assigned to help resolve workplace issues.
There were 50 reports made to Canberra Health Services officers and a further 26 through human resources.
No reports were made to the officers in ACT Health but its human resources department received 10.
The new figures come just months after the final report of an independent review into ACT Health's workplace culture was handed down, highlighting deep cultural issues in the public health system.
The review was announced by former health minister Meegan Fitzharris in September 2018 following multiple scandals and mounting pressure.
The government agreed to all 20 recommendations in the final report, including implementing a culture review oversight group.
As recently as July, the Community and Public Sector Union said bullying, racism and nepotism were still rife within Canberra's public hospital.
The union said more short-term changes were needed to fix the situation, with managers still harassing staff.
A spokesman for the ACT branch of the Australian Medical Association said the rise could be due to more staff being willing to report incidents to management in the wake of the review.
"Staff would now be more comfortable to make complaints," the spokesman said.
"It's been an improvement, and we suspect that whatever complaints made previously were a very small percentage of the incidents that were happening, [and the recent numbers] will still be a small percentage.
"The whole objective of the review was cultural change."
Ms Stephen-Smith said it was important that bullying incidents were addressed.
"It would not be unusual to see an increase in staff coming forward to report issues where they exist and we encourage them to do so," she said.
Talks will take place between the government and hospital staff and unions on the implementation of the review's recommendations.
Ms Stephen-Smith said $10.5 million would be spent over the next three years to help implement the changes.
"We want staff to feel safe and supported in the workplace," she said.
"The latest example of these changes is the appointment of a new employee advocate at Canberra Health Services.
"The employee advocate provides staff with another avenue - beyond those already available - to have their issues or concerns addressed and resolved in an appropriate and timely manner."