COVID-19

As a professional medical college whose aim is to help physicians deliver excellent healthcare, it's our responsibility to put the safety of our members and the community we serve above all else.

We'll share regular updates from the Australian Government, Department of Health and the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Health.


What we're doing

Following advice from the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Governments and recommendations for social distancing, we're postponing, cancelling or live streaming key events and ceremonies for the unforeseeable future. CPD deadlines have been extended.

All committee meetings will be held virtually through our video-conference provider, Zoom. Contact the relevant committee secretary for more information.

Education and training

We've changed some requirements and created a set of principles to guide our decision-making during COVID-19.

Advocacy

We have several advocacy activities underway to support you during COVID-19.

FAQs

Find answers to some frequently asked questions on COVID-19 here.


Advice and news

Clinical advice for physicians

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care — FAQs for clinicians on elective surgery

Cancer Australia — Information about cancer and COVID-19

Gastroenterological Society of Australia — Principles for Clinicians caring for Patients with IBD during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)

Gastroenterological Society of Australia — Resources on COVID-19

General Surgeons Australia and RACS Australian Board in General Surgery — COVID-19 Guidelines for General Surgery

Hospice New Zealand — COVID-19 resources

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation — COVID-19 Primary Healthcare Guidance

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce — Caring for people with COVID-19

New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology — Position statement on provision of gastrointestinal endoscopy in the COVID-19 era (PDF)

NSW Health — Personal Protective Equipment

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons — Guidelines for management of surgical patients during COVID-19 pandemic

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons — COVID-19 information hub

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists — Advice for GP Obstetricians and Regional Fellows

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

Australian Government Department of Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers

RACP

COVID-19: Guidance for pregnant healthcare workers (PDF)

Guidance for occupational physicians providing advice on COVID-19 (PDF)

Interim guidance for the delivery of medication assisted treatment of opiod dependence in response to COVID-19: a national response (PDF)

Specialty Society statements

Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (PDF)

Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine

Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology

Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine

Australian Diabetes Society (PDF)

Australian Rheumatology Association (PDF)

Australasian Sleep Association

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases

Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

Gastroenterological Society of Australia (PDF)

Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science (PDF)

Telehealth

Australia

Australian Cybersecurity Centre — Web Conferencing Security

Australian Digital Health Agency — Electronic Prescribing

Australian Government Department of Health — COVID-19 National Health Plan prescriptions via telehealth

BMJ — COVID-19: A remote assessment in primary care (25 March 2020)

Digital Health CRC — COVID-19 and digital technology: The roles, relevant and risks of using telehealth in a crisis

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association — Health Worker and Health Practitioner Exemplar Health Assessment (PDF)

Services Australia — Bulk billing a telehealth video consultation

MBS Online — The new COVID-19 Telehealth MBS items can now be claimed

My Health Record — Registration overview (Contact the Digital Health Agency at 1300 901 001 or )

Aotearoa New Zealand

Ministry of Health — National Telehealth Service

NZ Telehealth Forum and Resource Centre — Your guide to telehealth in NZ

ACC — COVID-19 information for providers

RACP webinars

Webinars are recorded regularly. Check back for the latest information.

Telehealth and Electronic Prescribing Webinar (accurate as of 8 April 2020)

Telehealth and Electronic Prescribing Webinar (accurate as of 1 April 2020)

RACP telehealth

Case studies

Guiding principles for telehealth consultations in Rehabilitation Medicine (PDF)

Patient information FAQs

Pomegranate Health podcast — Ep57: The Art of Telehealth

Telehealth

Telehealth guidelines and practical tips (PDF)

Telehealth for patient care — Presentations

Video resources

CPD requirements

We know the impact of COVID-19 on our Fellows is enormous. Many of you will struggle to meet CPD requirements this year due to cancellation of conferences, withdrawn leave requests and reprioritisation of workforce needs.

Regulators in Australia and New Zealand have updated their expectations for 2020 CPD.

2019 requirements

Fellows with incomplete 2019 CPD records will have automatic extensions until midnight (AWST) Friday 31 July 2020. There's no fee for this extension.

We're monitoring the situation closely to determine if further extensions for 2019 CPD records are necessary.

2020 requirements — Australia

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) won’t take action if you can’t meet the CPD registration standard when you renew your medical registration this year and neither will the College. The MBA encourages you to continue to do CPD relevant to your scope of practice.

2020 requirements — Aotearoa New Zealand

The Medical Council of New Zealand will exempt all general and vocationally-registered doctors from recertification programme requirements until 28 February 2021.

Doctors returning to practice from 26 March 2020 don't need to enrol in the Inpractice or College programme until 28 February 2021.

Doctors won't be audited for compliance with recertification programmes over the next 11 months. You’ll need to be enrolled and actively participating in required programmes from 1 March 2021.

A note to all Fellows

We know many of you will complete a multitude of CPD activities this year, whether up-skilling in the use of telehealth for virtual consultations, reviewing online mental health resources, or vaccine development for those in immunology and infectious diseases research.

The types of innovation we’re currently seeing from our medical profession are perhaps the ultimate CPD. We won’t monitor or audit CPD records in 2020 but they will still be open if you wish to record your CPD.

Events, conferences and convocation

RACP Congress 2020 Balancing Medical Science with Humanity will be delivered online. You'll be able to watch orations, interact with experts through webinars and listen and contribute to panel discussions via podcasts. More details will be announced soon.

We've postponed the Convocation Ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2020 in Melbourne. All new Fellows who've been invited, or have registered to attend, will be contacted with further information. We understand this news may be difficult for some. Your safety and wellbeing is important to us.

Other events that have been cancelled include the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day and the Tri-Nations International Medical Symposium and associated events.

Find upcoming COVID-19 online events.

For questions regarding specific events, email events@racp.edu.au

RACP journals

Wiley, the publisher of the Internal Medicine Journal and the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, has suspended all journal printing and distribution due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Access the journals through Wiley's Online Library:

Internal Medicine Journal
Paediatrics and Child Health


Resources

Aotearoa New Zealand

Health Quality & Safety Commission — COVID-19 and communicating with patients and whānau

New Zealand Government — Unite against COVID-19

New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association — COVID-19 updates and resources

Safe Travel — Official advice for Aotearoa New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Specialty Trainees of New Zealand — COVID-19 updates and resources

Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā — National Māori Pandemic Group

Toi Mata Hauora: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists — COVID-19 guidance and resources

Ministry of Health

COVID-19 Āwhina app — tailored, up-to-date information for providers

COVID-19 Border controls

COVID-19 Information sheets for the general public

COVID-19 Self-isolation

Current case definition

COVID-19 Health and Disability System Response Plan

NZ COVID Tracer app

Updated advice for Healthcare Professionals

International

BMJ's Coronavirus Hub

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and University of Oxford — COVID-19 Evidence Service

Choosing Wisely — COVID-19 Recommendations (PDF)

Converge International

Johns Hopkins — Coronavirus Resource Center

Journal of the American Medical Association — Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The Lancet — COVID-19 Resource Centre

LitCovid

New England Journal of Medicine — Coronavirus

PanSurg — Safer surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health UK — COVID-19

World Health Organization

Advice for the public (videos)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

R&D Blueprint and COVID-19

Wellbeing

Converge International

The RACP can’t emphasise enough the importance of our members taking care of their mental wellbeing during this time. The RACP Support Program is a free, fully confidential and independent helpline which is available to you 24/7 and is managed by Converge International.

Converge International has also created ‘CoronaCare’, a curated series of aligned support approaches specifically targeted at individuals and teams who are working in a significantly disrupted environment. There are three individual support services:


Australian Government Department of Health — Head to Health

Australian Government Department of Health — Coronavirus video on mental wellbeing

Australian Government National Mental Health Commission — ausmentalhealth YouTube channel

Australian Psychological Society — COVID-19 information for Australians

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue — Ways to look after your mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic

DRS4DRS

e-Mental Health in Practice — Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19 (PDF)

Hand-n-Hand COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Peer Support Network

Lifeline Australia

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand – Wellbeing Tips

MindSpot

National Academy of Medicine — Resources to support the health and wellbeing of clinicians during COVID-19 outbreak

NSW Government Agency for Clinical Innovation — Pandemic Kindness Movement

White Ribbon Australia — Domestic Violence Hotlines  (Australia)

Ethics and Health Law

Australia

Australasia Association of Bioethics & Health Law — Allocating Scarce Healthcare Resources During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Australian Medical Association — Position Statement: Ethical Considerations for Medical Practitioners in Public Health Emergencies in Australia

First Peoples Disability Network Australia — COVID-19: Ethical decision-making for First Peoples living with disability 

Queensland Health — Queensland ethical framework to guide clinical decision making in the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)

University of Melbourne — Planning for and managing COVID-19: Ethical decision-making tool

University of Sydney — An Ethics Framework for Making Resource Allocation Decisions within Clinical Care: Responding to COVID-19 (PDF)

Aotearoa New Zealand

Health and Disabilities Ethics Committees — COVID-19 Emergency Response: Ethical Review Operating Procedures (eSOP)

National Ethics Advisory Committee: Kāhui Matatika o te Motu

National Ethics Advisory Committee: Getting through together – Ethical values for a pandemic (PDF)

International

Hasting Centre — COVID-19: Supporting Ethical Care and Responding to Moral Distress in a Public Health Emergency (PDF)

Hastings Centre — Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions Responding to Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to COVID-19 (PDF)

European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies — Statement on European Solidarity and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)

Nuffield Council on Bioethics — Ethical considerations in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)

Nuffield Council on Bioethics — Guide to the ethics of surveillance and quarantine for novel coronavirus (PDF)

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health — Ethics framework for use in acute paediatric settings during COVID-19 pandemic

UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology — Statement on COVID-19: Ethical considerations from a global perspective

University of Pittsburgh — Allocation of Scarce Critical Care Resources During a Public Health Emergency (PDF)

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