AChAM Communiqué November 2016

Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 04-2016 meeting, held on 3 November 2016.


College Council

A/Prof Kees Nydam provided a report on the last College Council meeting held in October. The Council is considering how to increase member engagement and have a shared identity and dialogue across the College.

The Council has been kept abreast of the change to a smaller, skills-based RACP Board in May 2018 and the College’s efforts on increasing member engagement. The Council has also been charged with engagement with RACP Congress 2017.

2017 Work Plan

Members confirmed the AChAM Committee work plan for 2017, subject to budgetary approval. As part of this work plan, the AChAM Committee is keen to undertake a three College approach to the RACGP benzodiazepines guidelines when they are next reviewed. This is in order to develop a unified national medical approach to the prescribing of this class of medicines and build a sense of integration and collegiality with the GPs and psychiatrists.

Education and training

There was an informal trainee meeting at the APSAD Conference in October between Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry trainees and there is a desire to have another trainee meeting at the IMiA Conference in March 2017.

Training Committee Matters

Dr Brett Palmer will be stepping down after six years as coordinator of assessment on the Training Committee and the advanced trainee representative Dr Nikola Ognyenovits will be finishing in this role, with an expression of interest for this position to go out soon.

There are 33 current trainees with three new trainees to be accepted into the program and six completions since the start of 2016. There are a few sites outstanding for accreditation site visits.

Dr Mark Montebello, Chair of the Training Committee will finish his term on the College Education Committee (CEC) as the Chapter representative. This position will now rotate to the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine for a representative. Dr Montebello is to be congratulated on his hard work and initiative, especially in regard to the organisation of regular education sessions for trainees.

FRACP Pathway

The AChAM Committee will proceed with a project plan to develop a business case for the Board seeking permission to reprosecute the case for establishment of an FRACP pathway in Addiction Medicine noting that there is no current mechanism by which changes to the AHPRA specialty register can be achieved. Committee members reaffirmed that they were very keen for Addiction Medicine to be a viable physician career pathway without a reliance on dual training.


APSAD Fellows’ Update

A/Prof Adrian Reynolds and Dr Mark Montebello presented at the AChAM Fellows’ Update at the APSAD Conference covering a range of matters including EVOLVE, policy and advocacy and education and training. Approximately 25 Fellows attended with Ms Mary Warner from the Department of Health presenting on the new Medicare item numbers for Addiction Medicine. There will be a two-year review of their utilisation which will provide an opportunity for Chapter members to provide any feedback. The session was warmly received by Fellows and Ms Warner offered her contact details for any issues that may arise. The efforts of Chapter Fellows who were involved in advocating for these item numbers.

AChAM Awards

The Committee approved the AChAM Foundation awards for 2017/2018 which include a new trainee research project prize awarded for best trainee submission of the research project which is part of their training requirements. Two recipients have been confirmed for the Indigenous Prize for 2016 which will cover attendance at the IMiA Conference in March 2017.

Model of Collaboration

The aim of the Model of Collaboration is for College groups and specialty societies to agree on commonalities, map out what each group is doing/ what is being done in isolation and determine priorities.

Schedules are slowly being developed by the 52 specialities across the College and the Chapter and APSAD will soon commence work on their joint schedule.

IMiA Conference

As RACP is the lead convenor for the next International Medicine in Addiction Conference in 2019, locations for this meeting are being considered so planning can commence in early 2017. The 2017 event is fast-approaching from 24– 26 March.

Addiction Medicine Vocational Scope of Practice New Zealand

Dr Vicki Macfarlane, New Zealand Branch Chair has been corresponding with staff in the Adult Medicine Division and staff in the New Zealand office about the status of the Addiction Medicine vocational scope of practice application. Dr Macfarlane outlined how this lack of recognition impacted on Addiction Medicine Fellows in areas such as supervision, CPD and remuneration. A comprehensive stocktake would be undertaken to determine the latest status and next steps.

The next meeting of the AChAM Committee will take place on Wednesday 29 March 2017 via teleconference.

A/Prof Adrian Reynolds, President
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
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