AFPHM eBulletin – 4 May 2018

Universal Basic Income: Pipe dream or public health priority?

A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a payment made to all adult individuals that allows people to meet their basic needs. It is made without any work or activity tests. The idea is not new, but until recently had been pushed to the fringes of policy debate. There are a number of different UBI models, ranging from more modest schemes designed to simplify the existing social security system all the way to utopian plans to transform society. The Canadian province of Quebec undertook last year to trial basic income from the start of 2018 as part of the Canadian government’s anti-poverty plan.

There are a number of common objections to UBI proposals. These include scepticism about the idea technological change will lead to widespread job losses; concern about the high cost of a UBI; concern about the likely impact of a UBI on the economy; and concern that a UBI will undermine social solidarity and support for the social contract.

UBI has returned to the policy agenda as the result of concerns about technological change, with some commentators arguing that new technology will permanently reduce the demand for labour leading to job losses, stagnant incomes and worsening inequality. There is also an ongoing debate about its transformative potential with regard to poverty and in enabling a more meaningful work and home life.

While there may be little prospect of a UBI being introduced in this country in the near future, debating UBI proposals helps draw out and clarify the differences in values and vision that shape social and economic policy.

For more information and views on Universal Basic Income, the following resources are available:

We’d love to know your thoughts on this topic – please send any comments through to

A message from your President

I open my last President’s post by acknowledging Linda Selvey and Robyn Lucas who will take over as President and President-elect at the AFPHM annual meeting in May at RACP Congress. Linda and Robyn are distinguished Public Health Physicians with extensive experience of public health in Australia and New Zealand. Both have a deep understanding of the Faculty and have been actively involved in Faculty work for many years, Linda in policy & advocacy and Robyn in training and education. As the College transitions to new governance arrangements the Faculty is very safe in their hands. 

I am delighted to confirm that the following nominees for positions on the AFPHM Council have been recommended to the Board for appointment for a two year term from May 2018 to May 2020:

  • John Holmes the incoming Chair, AFPHM New Zealand Committee 
  • Keith Reid, the new NZ Representative on Council
  • Nicola Spurrier as Councillor.

Expressions of Interest opened last week for various positions on AFPHM committees, including:

  • the remaining positions on Council 
  • the unfilled positions on the AFPHM Regional Committees
  • AFPHM Policy & Advocacy Committee.

These committees form the heart of our community of practice, they support the delivery of training and action our public health voice; I strongly encourage you to consider applying for a role in these committees. Go to the RACP website to download documentation on these various committee positions. Expressions of Interest forms and CVs must be submitted to no later than 5pm AEST, Friday 25 May 2018.

There are changes happening in the AFPHM office.  Kerri Clarke Executive Officer for AFPHM has successfully applied for a position with the Paediatrics and Child Health Division and will move in about three weeks. Wynne Bell, Manager Faculties has resigned from RACP and will be leaving on Friday, 18 May 2018. Kerri has worked with us for many years and has formed strong friendships with the members and she has been deeply interested in the progress of the Trainees. Wynne has been covering the maternity leave of Pip Warnes who will be returning. Wynne quickly engaged with the work of the Faculty, having qualifications in public health. On behalf of the Faculty I thank them both for their commitment to AFPHM, their hard work on our behalf and the support that they have provided to me as President. We anticipate that recruitment for a new Executive Officer will get underway soon. Both Kerri and Wynne will be supporting AFPHM for Congress so we will have an opportunity to thank them there. 

AFPHM has created a fabulous program at Congress focusing on many aspects of climate change and health. Dr David Pencheon OBE, has arrived in Australia and has begun a full schedule of meetings with senior health officials in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart and is giving public talks in each city – see information on the University of Notre Dame Sydney lecture on the event webpage.  David is speaking at the AFPHM National Training Days as well as contributing to Congress. David is the founder Director of the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) for NHS England and Public Health England ( The SDU was established in 2007 with the task of ensuring the NHS operated in an environmentally sustainable way – starting with reducing its carbon emissions. His presentations of the transition towards a sustainable and resilient health and care system are stimulating immense interest. Between 2007 and 2015 the NHS reduced its carbon emissions by 11 per cent despite health and care activity increasing by 18 per cent. This represents a saving of £1.85bn. Hospital waste is a recurring theme in conversations and I refer you to a recent resource produced by the Royal College of Physicians of London. 

I look forward to seeing you at RACP Congress where we will present the AFPHM Annual Report at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, 15 May. The report will summarise the many achievements of the Faculty over the past two years including the essential work to describe a pathway for the future of the Faculty.

There are also achievements of individuals to celebrate. Fellows Andrew Old and Simon Crouch have both been successful in applying for grants. Simon has received the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Travel Grant from the RACP Foundation. This grant will enable Simon to move to the United States from July to November to work at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases. Andrew will also be going to the US this year; he has received a 2018-19 Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice.

It’s been my privilege to serve the Faculty as President and before that, as President-Elect. It has been a fantastic experience. I would like to thank all the people who have supported me and enabled me to fulfil these roles. I have received collegial generosity and support from all the Fellows and Trainees and for that I am most grateful. I would like to particularly thank the members of AFPHM Council and of all of the supporting committees, the Faculty Education Committee, the Faculty Policy & Advocacy Committee, the Trainees Committee and the AFPHM Regional Committees and the NZ Committee. I would like to thank the RACP staff who have supported our work.

While the Faculty is firmly established, like all young organisations we must continue to focus on what we want to become. See you at Congress.

Yours in Fellowship

Professor Lynne Madden
President, AFPHM 

Webinar #4 2018: Talk Like an Epidemiologist: Critical Appraisal

Critical appraisal is an essential skill for public health practice, research, and the final oral exam. In this webinar we will review critical appraisal of various epidemiological studies. We will cover the key questions to ask while critically appraising a study, and how the answers to these questions can impact on the results and conclusions of a study.

Dr Jonathan Malo is a public health physician working currently as the Acting Medical Director of the Communicable Diseases & Infection Management Unit in the Communicable Diseases Branch of Queensland Health. He completed the Master of Philosophy Applied Epidemiology program at the Australian National University as part of his public health medicine training, and has previous experience as a consultant epidemiologist for the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office.

Date:  Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Time:  2pm to 3pm AEST

For information on how to join this webinar, visit the RACP website.

To watch previous webinars, go to our Youtube playlist.

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

RACP Congress 2018

RACP Congress 2018 program includes engaging sessions, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, video presentations and social functions for all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

Over the three days of Congress public health physicians will present and discuss the health care sector and if it is taking climate change seriously, how disasters are impacting the mental health of those affected. Also, do not miss out on presentations from the AFPHM Gerry Murphy Award winners and John Snow Scholarship.

We look forward to seeing you at RACP Congress 2018 at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 14 to 16 May 2018. Confirm your attendance ​at Congress and affiliated social functions ​via

AFPHM National Training Days – REGISTER NOW

The highly anticipated 2018 AFPHM National Training Days will be held on Saturday, 12 and Sunday, 13 May 2018 at the RACP Sydney office. Visit the website to register.

Registration cost: $105 (includes tea and coffee, and light lunch). More information regarding the registration fee may be found in a letter from the NTD Working Group.

The AFPHM NTD Working Group has developed another engaging and invigorating program of public health topics and speakers this year, including two renowned international speakers covering the following topics:

  • Dr David Pencheon (Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, UK)
    Sustainable Development: establishment in the UK, strategy setting, and lessons for trainees on influencing the decision-making process.
  • Professor Alistair Woodward (Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Auckland) Epidemiological approaches to public health problems.

The program will also include topical presentations from the following Australian public health experts (noting that titles are preliminary, and all content is subject to change):

  • Medicinal cannabis – Dr Tony Gill and Dr Jan Fizzell
  • Building better health – Professor Leena Gupta
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health – Dr Tamara Mackean
  • Obesity – Dr Michelle Cretikos
  • Planetary health – Professor Tony Capon
  • Public health careers (expert panel, to be confirmed).

For full details and to reserve your place at this important public health training event visit the website.

AFPHM Faculty Dinner, Sydney

All AFPHM members and their guests are warmly invited to attend the Faculty’s annual dinner, to be held from 7pm on Sunday, 13 May 2018 at the picturesque Botanic Gardens Restaurant. The AFPHM Dinner is the perfect opportunity to meet new colleagues, to catch up with old friends, and to celebrate the achievements of the Faculty over the past year.

Tickets are $141 per person which includes an arrival drink, two-course dinner, and limited beverages (wine, beer and non-alcoholic) followed by a cash bar. RSVP via the Congress registration process.

Trainees’ Day 2018

RACP Trainees’ Day and Trainees Dinner is an opportunity for Basic and Advanced Trainees to network and discuss professional critical topics and training pathways. We are pleased to advise that due to the generous contribution from our sponsors Trainees' Day is now AUD $50. Trainees ​who have already registered will receive a refund equivalent to the difference in ticket price. We would like to thank our sponsors: Westpac, Avant Mutual, Novartis, Professional Transcription Solutions and the NSW Government for making this reduced price possible.

Trainees Day is on Sunday, 13 May 2018, just prior to RACP Congress 2018. Trainees will meet at the RACP Office Sydney to discuss the following topics:

  • The global refugee crisis: its our responsibility
  • Australian refugees: stand up and be counted
  • How can we advocate for a brighter future?
  • Professional skills workshop: a powerhouse of presidential knowledge
  • Cognitive bias
  • Coaching and mentoring.

The Trainees' Day Dinner will be held over looking Sydney's Darling Harbour. Confirm your attendance during the Congress registration process. 

Date: Sunday, 13 May 2018 
Time: 6pm to 10pm 
Venue: Blackbird Café, 201 Sussex Street, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney 
Cost: $59 per person

Register and view the program on the Congress website

We look forward to seeing you in Sydney. 

Regional Committee elections

Following a recent call for nominations, elections are being held for elected positions on ​a number of RACP Committees.

Detailed election information, voting instructions, forms, candidate information, Committee Member Position Descriptions and Committee By-Laws can be found on the RACP website. Voting closes at 5pm AEST on Friday, 25 May 2018. 

Expressions of Interest for RACP Councils and Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for a number of appointed positions.  Available positions are listed on the RACP website along with position descriptions, By-laws for each Council or Committee and the forms you will need to complete the process.

Gerry Murphy Prize and John Snow Scholarship presentations, Congress 2018

Gerry Murphy Prize: Come along and support our AFPHM trainee regional finalists presenting for the national prize. 
Date:  Monday, 14 May 2018
Venue: Room C3.6, International Convention Centre Sydney
Time: 3.30pm to 5.15pm 

John Snow Scholarship: Hear medical students present on a range of public health topics; these are the regional finalists competing for the national prize. Join us to offer your support.
Date:  Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Venue: Room C3.6, International Convention Centre Sydney
Time: 3.45pm to 5.45pm

Please note that both sessions must start promptly on time, so please be early to secure your seats.

Register now ​via the RACP Congress 2018 website.

Apply for funding opportunity

Applications are now open for the Cottrell Research Establishment Fellowship and John Snow Scholarship.

The Cottrell Research Establishment Fellowship provides up to $75,000 in funding for research or training in the areas of epidemiology, social or community medicine, or for research or training relating to areas of special relevance to the Asia Pacific area. Applications close on Monday, 25 June 2018.

The John Snow Scholarship offers support to medical students interested in public health careers. Eight scholarships are awarded. Regional finalist representatives have a chance to attend and present at the RACP Congress 2019. Applications close on Monday, 8 October 2018.

For full details about these and other research funding opportunities visit the RACP Foundation website

Congress session on increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) will be discussing the Medical Specialist Access Framework. The Framework is a guide for health stakeholders to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists. The session is on Monday, 14 May 3.30pm to 5pm in room C2.2 and C2.3, and will include Dr Tamara Mackean, Professor Noel Hayman, Dr Catherine Yelland, Professor Donald Campbell and Dr Simon Quilty discussing their experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This is an opportunity for Fellows to consider their practice and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 
Register for RACP Congress 2018 on the website.

Congress session on the RACP Indigenous Child Health statement 

An RACP Working Group is developing a statement on Indigenous Child Health in Australia and New Zealand. This is an opportunity for Fellows to participate in a session with the Working Group chair Dr Danny de Lore and Dr Niroshini Kennedy to discuss the content of the draft statement and provide important input on the direction and key messages of the statement.  Fellows are encouraged to attend to ​contribute to the development of a robust and impactful statement. The session is on Tuesday, 15 May 11.15am to 12.15pm, Cockle Bay Room 2.

Register for RACP Congress 2018 on the website

Continuing Professional Development Sessions, Queensland

A series of CPD opportunities for AFPHM members will be presented via the Queensland RACP offices, which you can attend either in person or via video/teleconference. Topics and dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 22 May 2018:  Annie Preston-Thomas presenting An Update on Sexual Health in North Queensland
  • Tuesday, 26 June 2018:  Kelly Shaw on Public Health Aspects of Anaemia Identification and Management
  • Tuesday, 31 July 2018:  Susan Vlack on Relating Well to People: a mixed methods study of preventive care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream, urban general practices.

All will commence at 6pm AEST:

  • RACP Qld office at Unit 20, Level 3 Royal Brisbane Place, 17 Bowen Bridge Road, Herston Qld


  • By Zoom video/tele-conference.

RSVP to Nominate which sessions you will be attending and whether you wish to participate in person (places are limited) or by video/tele-conference (location from which you will be attending is required; details will then be provided about logging in).

Slow-release opioid statement

Mounting evidence highlights the inappropriate use of slow-release opioids for the treatment of acute pain. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and its Faculty of Pain Medicine have released a statement which is designed to inform and recommend action.

Recommendations in the statement align with the approved indications for slow-release opioids listed by domestic and international regulatory authorities.

Australian Public Health Conference scholarship

With the aim of building the advocacy skills and capacity of members, Public Health Association Australia (WA Branch) is pleased to offer two scholarships to attend the Australian Public Health Conference to be held in Cairns from Wednesday, 26 to Friday, 28 September 2018. Applicants must be from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background and have a strong interest in public health. Applicants do not need to be a PHAA member to be eligible. Applications close Friday, 8 June.

More information is available via the Scholarship Criteria and Application Form.

Biologicals ​Regulatory ​Framework proposed changes to start on 1 July 2018

The TGA have published guidance on the upcoming changes to the regulation of autologous human cells and tissues (HCT) products. This is to assist you in interpretation of new requirements that are likely to come in to effect from 1 July 2018 (subject to Government approval).
As a result of the changes some autologous human cell and tissue (HCT) products will be subject to increased regulation by the TGA from 1 July 2018. These changes will improve patient protection from providers of unproven therapies, ensure patients have access to safe and effective new therapies, and support a patient-prescriber relationship to access appropriate treatments.
The increase in regulatory oversight from 1 July will include a prohibition on advertising autologous HCT products to patients, and a requirement to report adverse events. Transition arrangements will be included for the other regulatory requirements, with the intention for the provisions to balance the need for increased oversight of this sector, while allowing sufficient time for providers to bring their operations in line with the new requirements. These provisions will allow continuing supply until June 2019.
The guidance also includes an explanation of key terms, new definitions for classifications of biologicals, minimal manipulation, homologous use and regulatory pathways for supply of autologous HCT products. Examples have been used throughout the guidance document to clarify how the definitions operate in practice.
We encourage you to familiarise yourself with this guidance ahead of regulatory changes in July 2018. 
If you have questions or feedback please contact the TGA directly at

Updated Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) Program Requirement Handbooks now available

The new PREP Program Requirements are now available on the relevant Basic Training and Advanced Training specialty web pages.

Basic Training
The 2019 Basic Training Program Requirements apply to all trainees registered in a PREP Basic Training program in 2019. Program requirements for 2020 will be released in line with the revised Basic Training Curricula.

Advanced Training
The 2019–20 Advanced Training Program Requirements are available on the new Advanced Training specialty web pages. The 2019–20 Requirements apply to all trainees registered in a PREP program in 2019 and/or 2020.

PREP trainees and their supervisors should familiarise themselves with the updated program requirements for their specialty. It is the responsibility of the trainee to ensure that they are following the correct guidelines for each training year.

Adverse ​Events Reporting Survey

Analysis of adverse event reports is an important way that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) monitors the safety of medicines and vaccines used in Australia.

Health professionals play an important role in ensuring the safe use of medicines particularly by reporting adverse events they see in clinical practice for new medicines. 

The TGA are undertaking an online survey to seek information about health professionals’ experiences and attitudes towards key issues related to medicines and their use, particularly related to identifying, managing and reporting adverse events. Your responses will help the TGA improve the way they collect and use adverse event reports.

The survey is available ​online and is estimated to take about 10 minutes to complete.

Note: All responses are anonymous and this survey does not collect any personally identifying information.

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.

Healthy Hospitals: Healthy Planet Forum
Missioncraft 2018 – Leadership in Disaster Relief

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

AFPHM contact details

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Kerri Clarke, Executive Officer, AFPHM
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

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

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Caroline Greenaway, 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
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