"Sexist culture - dads can be primary carers too"

About: Perth Children's Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My young child had a suspected fracture so we made our first visit to the children’s hospital. My husband and I brought our young child and our toddler to the waiting room and my husband took care of all the paperwork while I waited with our children. When he provided the information he indicated himself as parent number 1 and used his contact details on the form. He explained that he should be the person to be contacted as he is at home full time with the kids while I am at work full time. Low and behold when the reminder text came through for our child's outpatient appointment it came to my phone. Sigh. Time and again my husband is overlooked and the mother is assumed to be the primary contact. Particularly when he had explicitly asked that he be contacted I think this indicates a level of unconscious bias at best and overt sexism at worst. Can you please reassure me that the hospital's culture is supportive of contemporary parenting practices? Thanks.  

Responses

Response from Victor Cheng, Executive Director, Health Service Managament

picture of Victor Cheng

Dear Wrkingmum

Thank you for your feedback. The Child and Adolescent Health Service, including Perth Children’s Hospital, is extremely supportive of all our families. The situation you have described is deeply regrettable and does not reflect our values. I’m sorry this happened and has, understandably, made your husband feel discriminated against. Please be assured your feedback has been passed on to the emergency department and I will ask the team to reflect on your comments and take the steps to ensure this does not happen to another family. Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention. I sincerely hope that any future interactions you have at PCH will be more positive.

Kind regards

Dr Victor Cheng
Executive Director
Perth Children's Hospital | Mental Health | Community Health

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