AFPHM eBulletin – 20 September 2019

AFPHM Webinar #7 2019: Health economics

Dr Anthony Carpenter will be presenting on health economics for the AFPHM Webinar #7. Dr Carpenter is an Australian public health physician and rural general practitioner, with experience in clinical medicine, population health, research and government health policy.

He was a Director of Harvard Medical International in Boston between 2008 and 2011, working with foreign countries and health providers to strengthen healthcare and health systems. Dr Carpenter has also worked for both Australian federal and state governments in health policy roles. He was a Medical Adviser to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (Surgeon General) and an Assistant Secretary in the Victorian state government, managing a linked data set of 7.5 million citizens’ use of health and human services.

Dr Carpenter originally trained in economics and finance, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce with an Honours year in applied Finance from the University of Melbourne.  He subsequently worked for KPMG Australia in financial risk management, and later for KPMG’s health and human services practice.

We invite you to join this webinar for an informative session on health economics: 
Presenter: Dr Anthony Carpenter 
Date: Wednesday, 2 October
Time: 3pm AEST
Location: Online

For information on how to join this webinar, please see the event listing on the RACP website

To watch previous webinars, go to our Youtube playlist.

If you are interested in presenting a future webinar, please contact

A message from your President

If you’ve been feeling despondent following the devastating fires in Queensland and New South Wales over the past week, you are not alone. Many people I know share these feelings, particularly in relation to the severity and extent of the fires, the ongoing fire risk and the destruction of World Heritage rainforest in Queensland. At the time of writing, this fire is still raging in inaccessible areas. The extent of the damage is as yet unknown, but the historic Binna Burra Lodge, much loved as a destination for wonder and renewal, is no more. Queensland experienced its second only catastrophic fire danger, with the first catastrophic fire danger being declared in December 2018, when rainforest in Eungella National Park was destroyed by fire.

It is important to note that rainforests are generally immune to fires as they are a moist environment, and as such the plants and wildlife inhabiting rainforest are not adapted to fire. Their destruction will mean an end to that rainforest in our lifetimes at least.

Experts have told us climate change has contributed to these fires, and that fire danger conditions will continue to increase in frequency as the earth warms.

Our feelings of despondency are natural for those of us who care about our natural environment and are concerned about the climate crisis. We can’t afford to remain despondent though, as there is work to do both in terms of advocating for drastic cuts in carbon emissions and in ensuring we adapt to minimise the worst effects of climate change on people’s health.

It is worth noting the impacts of wildfires on health extend way beyond the affected areas. It is well documented that short and long-term exposure to wildfire smoke results in increases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease. While much is known, there is a need for further research, particularly in relation to long-term effects. Here are two recent literature reviews, both open access, that summarise the health effects of wildfire smoke and identify the research gaps:

Associate Professor Linda Selvey
President, AFPHM 

AFPHM training resources

A reminder to all AFPHM trainees, the following resources are available for your training:

Other resources you may be interested in, include:

Medical Board of Australia’s Medical Training Survey

The Medical Training Survey (MTS) is a new national, profession wide survey that will give Australia’s 30,000 doctors in training the chance to have a say about the quality and experience of medical training in Australia. The survey, designed as a quality improvement tool, is based on existing doctor in training surveys and includes questions about supervision, access to teaching, workplace environment, culture and wellbeing. It is open from 1 August to 30 September, in line with the annual registration renewal cycle for most trainees. 

To receive your unique survey link you need to renew your registration online through AHPRA. The survey link will appear once you have finished renewing and can also be accessed in your AHPRA confirmation of registration email.
The survey will take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t miss your opportunity to provide feedback on your training experience.

Meet the College Board

You are invited to join members of your RACP Board at an informal meeting on Thursday, 26 September from 5.30pm to 7.15pm at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. You will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

Numbers are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment. Please RSVP and advise any dietary or accessibility requirements.

Register now

Department of Veterans’ Affairs article for medical specialists 

From October 2019, referrals for Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) clients to allied health services are changing. 

Under new treatment cycle arrangements, referrals to allied health services for DVA clients, including those made by medical specialists, will be valid for up to 12 sessions of allied health treatment or one year — whichever ends first. If the DVA client then requires further allied health treatment, they will visit their usual GP for a follow-up referral. This aims to improve quality of care for DVA clients. 

Veterans who hold a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Gold Card are exempt from the treatment cycle for exercise physiology and physiotherapy services. For TPI clients, referrals for exercise physiology and physiotherapy may be either an annual or ongoing referral (as per current referral arrangements). For all other allied health services, TPI Gold Card holders must use the treatment cycle. 

DVA clients may have as many treatment cycles as their GP determines are clinically required. There are no limits on services and treatment can be provided by more than one type of allied health provider at the same time. 

The treatment cycle is about allied healthcare, it does not affect existing arrangements for those DVA clients being referred to a medical specialist by their GP. 

For more information, please free call DVA on 1800 555 254 or visit the treatment cycle page on the DVA website.

Share your talents at RACP Congress 2020

We’re looking for talented members to lead extra-curricular experiences for delegates at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Do you have a special interest outside of medicine you would like to share? Volunteer to lead a session at the RACP Congress Fringe Experience.

Express your interest

Faculty prizes for trainees and medical students

The Gerry Murphy Prize is open to trainees for the chance to present at local events organised by AFPHM regional committees during the month of November. Applications close 14 days prior to each regional competition. Selected representatives from each local event will be invited to attend and present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Regional presentation dates are published on the Gerry Murphy Prize webpage.

The John Snow Scholarships are available to medical students to promote appreciation of public health medicine as a medical specialty and potential career path. Nine scholarships are available each year, with recipients selected from each state/territory of Australia and New Zealand. The selected representatives are invited to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Applications are due Monday, 30 September 2019.

Details about these prizes are available on the RACP Foundation website.

RACP Indigenous health scholarships

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine is proud to offer the 2020 John McLeod Indigenous Health Scholarship as part of the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.

The Program is an opportunity for those who identify as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and New Zealand. Each scholarship is valued up to $40,000 over three to four years, depending on training pathway taken.

Several scholarships are available for 2020 to support Basic, Advanced or Chapter training:

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health.

Applications are open from Tuesday, 1 October to Saturday, 30 November 2019.

Further details on these scholarships are be available on the RACP Foundation website.

Eric Susman Prize

The Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine or paediatrics). 

Submit your nominations before Monday, 30 September 2019.

For further details on these and other prizes, please visit the Foundation webpage.

RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019

Physicians and trainees are invited to come together for an update on the latest research in Tasmania. The RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019  will be on Friday, 8 November at the Launceston General Hospital. Held under the theme ‘Physician vulnerability: are you at risk?’ the conference explores online communications and medico-legal risk. With constant changes in these areas, it’s challenging for physicians to remain informed, confident and protected in their practice. 

Register today

Seeking AFPHM representatives for committees

Are you willing to represent your colleagues and be a voice for the Faculty? Would you like to be part of creating positive change within the Faculty? 

The Faculty is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for the following positions on: 

  • AFPHM Council
    The AFPHM Council invites Fellows who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or Māori to submit an Expression of Interest to join the AFPHM Council. This is a chance to advocate for and support AFPHM members across Australia and New Zealand. Please contact for further details.
  • Members, AFPHM Regional Committees
    If you are interested in supporting and advocating for your local colleagues within the Faculty, please consider submitting an Expression of Interest form and your CV to, for one of the vacant member or Chair positions on your local AFPHM Regional Committee.
  • AFPHM Northern Territory Regional Education Coordinator
    This is an opportunity for AFPHM Fellows residing in the Northern Territory to further their leadership experience by supporting local trainees, supervisors and mentors through the AFPHM Training Program. Please submit an Expression of Interest form and your CV to if you are interested in applying for this position.
  • Chair, AFPHM New South Wales Regional Committee
    This is an opportunity for AFPHM Fellows residing in New South Wales to lead the AFPHM Regional Committee’s activities. Please submit an Expression of Interest form and your CV to if you are interested in applying for this position.

Input to RACP's ongoing work and advocacy on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Thank you to the Fellows who provided input into the College’s submission on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into NDIS Planning. The submission is being finalised and will be available on the RACP website soon. If you would like a copy of the submission sent to you directly, please email to request a copy.

Concurrently to this, the Australian Government has also has promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to support positive participant experiences with the NDIS.The Guarantee will set new standards for the time it takes for key steps in the NDIS process. This means there will be shorter, agreed timeframes for people to receive a decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS, for them to get an NDIS plan, and to have their plan reviewed. A particular focus will be on children and those participants needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology. To help facilitate this, a review of the NDIS Act 2013 has been announced, which will focus on removing legislative impediments and red tape to improve NDIS processes for participants and providers. It is not expected that this review will result in a fundamental reshaping of the NDIS. However, it is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families. Read the discussion paper.

The RACP Policy & Advocacy Unit are currently developing a consultation framework for this review and will send it out to relevant committees soon. If you would like to provide feedback directly to this consultation, please contact Rebecca Randall via

Spotlight on the Integrated Care Subgroup

Integrated care is a much-used term in healthcare. The College designated integrated care as a strategic Fellow-led priority, under the umbrella of the Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG). The work described here is a positive example of successful physician teamwork supported by the College’s Policy & Advocacy team. The HRRG comprises many experienced members who consider a wide range of health reform issues. To lead this stream of work it formed an agile Integrated Care Subgroup.

The Subgroup is co-led by Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius, and members include Mrs Debra Letica, Dr Mohamed Haroon Kasim, Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Carol McAllum, Professor Christopher Poulos, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Tai Tak Wan and Dr Gerard Adrianus. Two team positions are allocated to paediatrics, and importantly, a team member is a consumer representative.

Since commencing at the end of 2018, the national group of Fellows has met consistently, and within a few months has produced a ‘model of chronic care management’. The model has been so successfully received that the College is receiving requests from health service delivery sites asking to be a ‘proof of concept site’. If you’d like to see a copy of Complex care, consultant physicians and better patient outcomes: streamlined care in the community please email This has been the subject of high-level consultation with a comprehensive band of stakeholders.

The Subgroup is:

  • calling for health system infrastructure to better support consultant physicians (both private practitioner and hospital employed) to work in the community and in ambulatory care settings
  • advocating more flexible hospital services and the use of interoperable information systems to create a continuum of care for people with chronic conditions.

What’s happening in Basic Training curricula renewal

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the first to adopt the new Basic Training program.

We will be working with the Gold Coast University Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital Auckland, The Townsville Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide to start rolling out the new Basic Training programs from 2020.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest to become an early adopter of the new program.

We are also seeking expressions of interest for additional training settings to join those listed above as early adopters of the new Basic Training programs from 2021. 

New Pomegranate podcast: Getting off the opioids

Dramatic headlines about the opioid crisis are all-too familiar by now. Australia and New Zealand have followed the lead of the US, and seen a fourfold increase in opioid use over the last 30 years. Most of this prescribing has been for chronic non-cancer pain, but systematic reviews will tell you there are no decent trials that would warrant use for this indication.

In this podcast we’ll discuss some of the latest studies that have followed pain patients long-term and provided evidence against the efficacy of chronic opioid use. Addiction medicine specialist Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds (Clinical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, Tasmania) talks about how to identify patients that have developed dependence on or addiction to opioids and how to wean them off this medication. And pain medicine specialist Dr Chris Hayes (Director of the Hunter Integrated Pain Service) describes an alternative approach to therapy that involves breaking maladaptive pain associations in the nervous system.

Listen now

Represent the College on the Australian Gun Safety Alliance

The RACP joined the Australian Gun Safety Alliance earlier this year and we are now seeking a member to represent the RACP on the Alliance.

The Alliance's objectives are to:

  • ensure a safer community for Australian children 
  • have all jurisdictions comply with the National Firearms Agreement 
  • increase public awareness of the poor compliance by all Governments 
  • hold governments to account for their non-compliance
  • contribute to a balanced public conversation about the importance of a strong gun safety framework. 

The Alliance counts the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) and the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) amongst its current supporters.

The Alliance holds quarterly teleconferences for about one hour and has ad hoc special interest groups which meet at the convenience of interested members.

If you are interested to represent the College on the Alliance, please email your CV and some information about your interest and expertise in the area of gun safety to by Friday, 11 October 2019.

Refugee and immigrant health

Each year, thousands of people who have experienced persecution or other serious human rights abuses settle in Australia. The Refugee and Immigrant Health Curated Collection is a peer-reviewed resource to help you gain access to the key organisations and websites, webcasts, courses, tools and journals. View the resource today, or check out the whole range of RACP Curated Collections. Resources are complimentary for members and count towards continuing professional development requirements.

Access resources today

How does a 10 per cent discount on your insurance sound?

Vero offers great quality home and contents insurance in Australia, featuring:

  • new for old replacement for all contents
  • lock replacement
  • cover against fraudulent use of credit cards stolen from your property up to $1,500 (where you have contents cover)
  • flood cover as standard^
  • enjoy an exclusive 10 per cent discount on home insurance through your benefits, which is automatically applied to the price you are quoted
  • plus an additional five per cent discount if you buy combined home and contents cover. 

Get a quote and visit your RACP Member Advantage website for more information.

^Flood cover does not include loss or damage caused by highwater, actions of the sea, tidal waves or water entering your home due to structural defects, alterations, additions, renovations or repairs.

This may contain general advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions and exclusions apply. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available for this product, and can be requested when you call for a quote, or can be downloaded from the Vero website. You should consider the PDS before deciding whether to buy any of these products. The insurer is AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance.
Information correct as at 6 August 2019.

Suggestions from public health physicians on meeting the changes in the 2019 MyCPD framework

There are important changes to the MyCPD framework that came into effect in January 2019 that will affect all physicians. These changes are in response to requirements flagged by the Medical Board of Australia.

This update on the changes provides:

  • a link to an expanded list of example activities for the MyCPD framework that includes a greater number of non-clinical examples, many of which were suggested by public health physicians
  • plan to meet these new requirements that has been suggested by Public Health Physicians in consultation with the CPD unit. The plan provides examples that you will need to adapt to your own circumstances. There are also AFPHM specific ‘frequently asked questions’ and a range of resources
  • a new set of non-clinical example activities that will meet categories two and three.

The CPD team is happy to answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact them on the details below.

There are also a number of upcoming CPD Information Sessions listed on the RACP Events web page. An upcoming session is scheduled for VIC.

Phone: 1300 697 227
Overseas: +61 2 9256 5444 
New Zealand
Phone: 4 460 8122
Overseas: +64 4 460 8122 

Contribute to improving global standards of stroke prevention

Reviewers are needed to help with a new guideline for stroke prevention for the International Union of Angiology (IUA). The Faculty Advocating for Collaborative and Thoughtful Carotid Artery Treatments (FACTCATS) are a voluntary group of international experts from many clinical specialist and research groups. They promote scientific evidence to inform policy, practice and research regarding prevention of stroke associated with carotid artery disease.

The FACTCATS are seeking enthusiastic multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty health professionals and consumer representatives to help with a new guideline on stroke prevention. All members, trainees and Fellows, are welcome to apply. The guideline is being produced in association with the IUA and aims to help update the field and overcome procedural biases in existing guidelines.

The role will include:

  • systematic reviews of guidelines and studies
  • advising how to best define and modify arterial disease risk factors for primary and secondary prevention.

The project is being conducted in stages, with each stage expected to last between six to 12 months. The time commitment required will vary and flexibility for reviewers can be accommodated. All correspondence will be sent via email.

How to apply

To apply email Associate Professor Anne Abbott.

For more information visit

eLearning Module – Cultural Competence

The RACP has developed a module titled Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Cultural Competence which is available to all members (login required) via This is a useful module for those wanting a deeper understanding on traditional Australian and New Zealand cultural practices. The module can be completed in your own time and will enhance your clinical practice, particularly when working with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities.

Accredited AFPHM training positions

As a part of the AFPHM training program, trainees are expected to complete their core training in an AFPHM accredited training position.

A list of accredited AFPHM training positions is available on the RACP website.

Career opportunities

View all positions vacant

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.

Go to the events list at any time to see what other events are coming up.

AFPHM contact details

Member enquiries
(AUS) 1300 69 7227
(NZ) 0508 69 7227

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Rachel Smith, Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

AFPHM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6286

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit
Phone: +61 2 9256 9681

AFPHM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

Phone: +61 2 9256 9674

AFPHM CPD enquiries:
Office of the Dean (CPD)
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

AFPHM New Zealand enquiries:
RACP New Zealand Office
Phone: +64 4 472 6713
Close overlay