The policy and advocacy activities of the College support the leadership role of physicians, both collectively and individually, in influencing the social, environmental, biological and political factors that impact upon health and wellbeing of patients and the broader community, and the healthcare that they receive. Advocacy in this regard can be viewed as everything that physicians can and should do to improve both the quality and safety of care for patients.
In formulating College policies on various health issues and in contributing to the wider health policy formulation, the College is able to draw upon the perspectives, concerns, expertise and preferred solutions of its over 20,000 members.
The aim of the College's Policy and Advocacy Unit is to enable the College to influence policy development in Australia and New Zealand. The P & A Unit supports the College fellowship by monitoring and influencing how health policy is developed, formulated, implemented and evaluated in Australia and New Zealand. The P & A Unit can provide analysis and advice, evaluation, consultation, development, preparation, publishing, dissemination, communication, engagement, advocacy and lobbying on health policy issues. This will ensure the interests of Fellows and trainees are promoted in health policy, the health systems of both countries are improved, and the health outcomes for patients and communities are improved.
The Policy and Advocacy Unit can be contacted for other matters at email@example.com.
ETHICS REVIEW – HOW YOU CAN PARTICPATE
Review of the College's approach to ethics
At its December 2013 meeting, the Board of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians agreed to engage an international expert on ethics and the medical profession to review the College's approach to ethics and ethical issues.
Canadian physician and ethicist, Dr Jeff Blackmer has agreed to undertake the independent review, bringing the necessary objectivity, experience in ethics, and knowledge and understanding of medical colleges sought by the Board.
Dr Blackmer is the Executive Director of the Office of Ethics, Professionalism and International Affairs at the Canadian Medical Association and is the Chief Ethics Advisor and Consultant to the World Medical Association. He has also served as the interim Director of Ethics for the World Medical Association in Geneva and is one of the authors of the revised Helsinki Declaration. Further information on Dr Blackmer is available here.
Dr Blackmer will identify the College's ethics needs, identify areas of strength and opportunities for change in the College's existing approach to ethical issues and provide recommendations. The Terms of Reference for the review can be accessed here.
Initial consultation sessions
Independent ethics expert, Dr Jeff Blackmer, has received a great response from his initial consultation sessions held last week as the first step in the external review of the College’s approach to ethics and ethical issues. During a busy week of consultations, Dr Blackmer was able to meet with over seventy (70) people.
With discussion spanning all aspects of the review (contained in the Terms of Reference), the consultations across the College included:
Presidents, chairs and representatives from many different parts of the College and from the Speciality Societies including the Adult Medicine Division, Public Health Faculty, Education Committee, Ethical Guidelines Working Party, New Zealand Policy & Advocacy Committee, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Health Advisory Committee, College Trainees Committee, Maori Health Committee, Finance Committee, Research Committee, Endocrine Society of Australia, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine Society of Australia & New Zealand, and the Australian Rheumatology Association;
Some key external stakeholders including the Australian Medical Association, Australian Professional Society on Alcohol & Other Drugs and the Cancer Council Australia.
There are three ways to have your say during the next phase of the consultation process:
If you require any further information please contact Paul Wright, Senior Policy Officer in the Policy & Advocacy Unit at: Paul.Wright@racp.edu.au or on 02 9256 5497.
Dr Blackmer welcomes submissions on any matters covered by the Terms of Reference.