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How to make a complaint to WA Country Health Service | Albany Pride
How to make a complaint to WA Country Health Service
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT TO THE WA COUNTRY HEALTH SERVICE   To Whom it May Concern,     I am writing to express my distress and anger at publicly recorded comments made by a WACHS employee, Dr Thomas Brough, AHPRA Registration Number MED0001620548. In his role as a Councillor on the City of Albany Council, Dr […]


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To Whom it May Concern, 


I am writing to express my distress and anger at publicly recorded comments made by a WACHS employee, Dr Thomas Brough, AHPRA Registration Number MED0001620548. In his role as a Councillor on the City of Albany Council, Dr Brough made the following comments at a General Council Meeting on Tuesday the 27th of February, in direct reference to comments made previous by Cr Cruse who was discussing the Albany Pride Festival: 


“Following on from Councillor Cruse’s comments, I totally agree government shouldn’t be worried about what people are getting up to in their bedrooms, I certainly don’t. But within the coalition of the LGBTQIA+ I just want to hone in on the plus. That includes a group of people who identify as minor attracted persons. I would encourage all citizens and Councillors to look up what being a minor attracted persons means.” 


He further reinforced this harmful and derogatory view in comments made during a radio interview the following day by stating to the ABC: 

“I just think we’re talking about a broad coalition,” he said. “People are rightly concerned about some of the people who come into that coalition. I’m not interested in what people get up to in the bedroom — it’s none of my business. However, incorporation of people who are adults sexually attracted to children, minor-attracted persons, is a cause for concern if you’re adding them into a coalition.” 

While I accept that these comments were not made in his role as a WACHS employee, his high profile within the community, and his use of his medical background as a platform for credibility in his political career, means that his comments cannot be separated from his role within WACHS. As a Medical Practitioner, Dr Brough has a responsibility to embody the WACHS organisational values and to adhere to the WA Department of Health Conduct Policy. I have outlined below the specific areas of the Conduct Policy that I believe Dr Brough has breached by publicly providing his incorrect and derogatory statements regarding the LGBTIQA+ community. 

WA Dept of Health Conduct Policy 



• We communicate clearly and with integrity – In disparaging a vulnerable and marginalised community Dr Brough was careless, acted dishonestly and in doing so damages the reputation of the Albany Health Campus as an inclusive, welcoming and safe place for staff and patients. It could be reasonably assumed that as a Medical Professional Dr Brough has both the access to contemporary research and the necessary interpretive and critical thinking skills to understand it. He demonstrated a significant lack of integrity in repeating damaging and incorrect information that has been widely discredited internationally by relevant medical and peak bodies. 



• We treat each other, patients, clients and members of the public with respect, compassion and fairness – In repeating damaging and distressing false allegations toward already vulnerable and marginalised members of the public, Dr Brough displayed a distinct lack of compassion, respect and fairness. These views are clearly entrenched and fundamental to him, and based in his own personal prejudice. His judgement is objectively clouded by his own bias and I have absolutely no confidence in his ability to compassionately and fairly treat patients from within the LGBTIQA+ community. 

• We have zero tolerance for bullying, harassment and discrimination – Dr Broughs comments display his overtly discriminatory attitude toward the LGBTIQA+ community. That a medical professional can hold views that are so discriminatory and dangerously incorrect, in opposition to clear facts that dispute his opinions, is extremely troubling.   



• We are all responsible for workplace culture and performance – Dr Brough’s comments will have far reaching impacts on his ability to maintain professional relationships with colleagues who are part of the LGBTIQA+ community. His disdain for LGBTIQA+ people will be noted by his colleagues to whom it personally matters, this will contribute to a hostile work environment in which staff do not feel safe to exist authentically. 

• We provide high quality, accessible and safe health care services to all Western Australians – As a Medical Practitioner Dr Brough has committed to the concept of non-maleficence. In expressing deeply offensive and incorrect views he has committed broad harm against a community who is vulnerable and has a legacy of being targeted with such harmful rhetoric. I have no confidence that Albany Health Campus is able to provide a safe and accessible health care service to the local community when a Medical Practitioner who works in the Emergency Department can hold such views and feel comfortable expressing them publicly. The responsibility of all health professionals in patient facing roles, particularly in an emergency role which is often the first point of contact in a patients journey, is to provide safe, affirming and high quality care that does not contribute to or increase their suffering. LGBTIQA+ patients are disproportionately affected by mental ill health, more likely to attempt suicide than their peers and more likely to experience violence, often requiring them to access emergency health care. They are also more likely to experience negative health outcomes, and more likely to delay Hospital attendance due to previous negative experiences of care, and fear of discrimination in care environments. Dr Brough expressing these views publicly represents a significant risk to the reputation of Albany Health Campus as a safe and accessible health care provider. 


Principles of Conduct  


The WA health system CORE values un 


derpin the Principles of Conduct.  

Staff must comply with the Principles of Conduct. The Principles of Conduct are:  


1. Act professionally and ethically  

1.4. Avoid conduct that could bring the WA health system or any of its Staff, patients or clients into disrepute, including when using social media – Dr Brough’s comments have brought the Albany Health Campus and WACHS into disrepute. His comments were shared in a public and recorded Council meeting, and he further reinforced these views in a radio interview the following day. This has been widely reported on in written media and is available on social media in breach of the WACHS Media and Communications Policy and the Department of Health Use of Official Information, Digital Services (Social Media) and Public Comment Policy. The broad reporting of this information and the recognition of his role as a Medical Practitioner at Albany Health Campus throughout the reporting, has damaged the reputation and credibility of the Albany Health Campus and Dr Brough. His behaviour is extremely troubling, unprofessional and unethical. 

4. Maintain professional relationships   

4.2. Avoid expressing personal beliefs to patients or clients in a way that exploits their vulnerability or is likely to cause them distress – Dr Brough’s confidence in twice expressing these deeply distressing and factually incorrect personal views publicly, is troubling. These comments target an already marginalised group of people, and exploits and furthers their vulnerability, by disenfranchising them from their ability to access safe and inclusive health care. 

Integrity For the purpose of this Policy, Integrity broadly refers to the expected standards of behaviour and actions of Staff which reflect honesty, accountability, transparency, impartiality, and acting with care and diligence – Dr Broughs can reasonably be assumed to have access to contemporary information and research that would easily discredit the views he has expressed. As a Medical Practitioner he would be considered an intelligent and well educated person with access to resources and the required critical thinking skills to be able to correctly interpret information. It should be assumed that Dr Brough would be expected to engage with ongoing education and supervision to ensure that his views align with best practice research and organisational values. The comments made by Dr Brough are dishonest, lack impartiality, and show reckless disregard for the care of the community that he serves as a Medical Practitioner. This demonstrates a lack of integrity, and the fact that he has sought to reinforce these harmful views in subsequent communication, shows a distinct lack of insight and accountability. 

In conclusion, I have no faith in Dr Brough’s ability to safely provide care to patients presenting to the Albany Health Campus Emergency Department, or to contribute to a supportive and collaborative workplace for his colleagues. He has shown a reckless disregard for the LGBTIQA+ community and for the reputation of the health service for which he works. He has shown no insight or remorse for the damage caused by his comments and should not be able to continue to have access to patients under these circumstances. 

I note that WACHS have already released a statement regarding these comments, indicating they are not in keeping with the organisation values of WACHS and condemning them as unacceptable. I therefore look forward to communication from WACHS confirming what actions are planned to address Dr Brough’s behaviour, and what steps will be taken to protect vulnerable patients from being treated by a Doctor who holds such dangerous views.