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.

As of 13 July 2020, our COVID-19 Response is published monthly.


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 foreseeable 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

Cancer Australia | Information about cancer and COVID-19

Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand | Position statement on the evaluation of patients presenting with suspected acute coronary syndromes during the COVID-19 pandemic

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 Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance | Advice for clinicians: Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally associated with SARS-COV-2 (PIMS-TS) – RACP endorsed statement.

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

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Potential medicines to treat COVID-19

Medicines Management COVID-19

FAQs for clinicians on elective surgery

Australian Government Department of Health

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

Gastroenterological Society of Australia

Principles for Clinicians caring for Patients with IBD during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)

Resources on COVID-19

RACP

COVID-19: Guidance on Workplace Risk Management (updated 23/10/2020) (PDF)

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 opioid dependence in response to COVID-19: a national response (PDF)

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Guidelines for management of surgical patients during COVID-19 pandemic 

COVID-19 information hub

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)

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

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

Personal protective equipment

Access to PPE

You may need to privately source personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly if you work in community private practice.

The COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register helps match capability and demand for PPE between Australian businesses and customers.

When using the register, buyers need to:

  • do due diligence in establishing the quality of the supply
  • find out minimum order for some suppliers, as this isn't clearly stated

The register was developed by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Additionally, you may also be able to source PPE from the following sites:

Note: We have not conducted verification, quality or capability assessments on the suppliers or their products and therefore we cannot recommend suppliers. Undertake your own due diligence before purchasing. Conditions and requirements across states and territories vary so seek advice from your local health department.

Use PPE

To find out how to appropriately fit, wear and dispose of your PPE, see the NSW Government’s Coronovirus resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and health care managers.

Read our latest statement on the use of PPE.

Advocating for access to PPE

We continue to advocate for appropriate access to PPE and protection of frontline members during the pandemic.

Find out more about the results of our PPE survey, our statement on the use of PPE and our statement on healthcare worker infection in Victoria.

See more on our PPE advocacy in the COVID-19 Response updates in the News section.

Telehealth

Australia

MBS telehealth extended

On 18 September 2020, the Government announced a 6-month extension of the MBS telehealth items introduced to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Items used by specialists will continue unchanged.

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

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency | Telehealth guidance for practitioners

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 Australia requirements

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 Aotearoa New Zealand requirements

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 Online Congress Series Balancing medical science with humanity is free for members this year. You can come together, engage with experts and peers, discuss the latest research and contribute to conversations about big issues impacting our profession. From June to December, we'll release 4 to 5 sessions per month. Find out more about the program.

We've postponed the College Ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2020 in Melbourne. We understand this news may be difficult. Your safety and wellbeing is important to us. We'll provide more information when available.

Find out more about upcoming events.

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

Australia

AHPRA and the National Boards I Statement from AHPRA and the National Boards on the appropriate use of social media

Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine | Resources

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet | COVID-19 Updates and Information

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care | Cognitive impairment and COVID-19

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals Resource Toolkit (PDF)

Australian Government Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration | Warning to consumers and advertisers about COVID-19 test kits

Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association | COVID-19 updates

COVID-19 in Australia | Real-Time Report (Monash University)

Financial Services Council | Life insurance: Coronavirus

Healthdirect Australia | Coronavirus (COVID-19)

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation | Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information

NPS MedicineWise | Being medicinewise during COVID-19

NPS MedicineWise | Prescribing medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic

Paediatrics.Online | COVID-19

People with Disability Australia | COVID-19 Hub

Australian Government Department of Health

Clinical advisory service for disability health professionals

Some people with disability may require adjustments to their healthcare to ensure they receive COVID-19 testing or treatment with minimum distress.

The Australian Government Department of Health run a specialised clinical advisory service for health professionals caring for people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call 1800 131 330 between 8am – 9pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people with disability

Health Professionals Disability Advisory Service poster (PDF)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and remote communities

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources

COVID-19 advice for the health and aged care sector

COVID-19 infection control training

Management Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations

National Disability Insurance Agency

COVID-19 Information and support

Latest advice from NDIS

NDIS response to COVID-19 (Easy read version) (PDF)

For providers - coronavirus (COVID-19)

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 | Support services

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 

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

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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