AFOEM Council Communiqué November 2017

Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 04-2017 meeting, held on Friday 24 November 2017.

Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM) Representative on Council

The Council is strengthening its relationship with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANSZOM) under the Model of Collaboration. As a next step, the Council reviewed the AFOEM Council By-Law to formalise the arrangement for having a representative from ANZSOM on Council. The majority of Council voted in favour to amend the Council By-law to reflect the new representation.

Pending the approval of the Board, the amended Council By-law will take effect immediately.

Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC) Activities

Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) Australian Signatory Steering Group (SSG) Industry Forum

The HBGW Australian SSG held their Industry Forum in Perth on Friday 17 November. The Forum, namely ‘Healthcare professionals – promoting the health benefits of good work’, focused on strategies to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of all who work in the provision of healthcare. The Forum was well received and attracted positive feedback from all participants. It was an opportunity for the HBGW Australian SSG to promote the principles of HBGW to the healthcare sector in Western Australia.

AFOEM Guide to Pregnancy and Work

The AFOEM Guide to Pregnancy and Work has been approved by the College Policy and Advocacy Committee (CPAC) and the President of the College. The guide was formally launched on 27 November 2017 and is published on the RACP website. The guide brings together relevant information from the existing literature as well as the best available evidence to provide guidance on the safe management of pregnancy in the workplace for employers, employees and health professionals.

Employment Poverty and Health

In June 2017, the AFOEM Policy and Advocacy Committee formed a group to develop a scope of work for the Employment, Poverty and Health Project (EPH Project). The EPH Project recognises that there is a growing recognition that doctors across specialties need to increasingly adopt a population health perspective focused on actively promoting the health and wellbeing of their patients rather than being entirely focused on managing illness and injury. The focus of the EPH Project will be the role of employment as a key Social Determinant of Health (SDOH). The EPH Project will be led by AFOEM, in collaboration with other College Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

In the coming months, a scoping exercise will be conducted to better understand how doctors can best influence the SDOH to improve their patients’ health and wellbeing in the long term.

Collaboration with the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM)

The Policy and Advocacy Committees of AFOEM and AFPHM recently prepared a joint submission to the Commonwealth Expert Health Panel for Per-and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). The submission will assist the expert panel in its investigation of the potential health effects of PFAS and provides advise on research priorities.

AFOEM Regional Committee Activities

Regional Council members provided an update on activities across Australia and New Zealand. Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand are expecting to have an increase in the number of trainees in 2018.

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