AFRM eBulletin – 11 February 2022

A Message from Your President

2022 is now underway and I hope you had some time away from work over the holiday season. Registrars will be changing within a week or two and another year of examinations begins for our trainees with the first exams being in March.

Like many of you, my hospital has been significantly affected by the omicron COVID-19 variant. With wards re-allocated to COVID patients and repeated COVID outbreaks in other wards leading to isolation of patients, temporary closure of wards, and furloughing of staff members, this has had a significant impact on our ability to provide rehabilitation programs for patients with disability from all the usual causes. I don't doubt this experience has been replicated in many places throughout the country.

In New South Wales at last we are seeing the slow decline in hospitalisations and ICU numbers long hoped-for, offering hope that indeed this wave is finally on the decline. It's remarkable to remember just how much greater the numbers of infected people have been in this omicron wave compared to the earlier waves even in New South Wales and Victoria where numbers were relatively high compared to the other states. After two years we felt perhaps entitled to some return to normality for ourselves and our services, but we will have to continue as best we can for the foreseeable future.

Examinations

As you know the examination dates have been published for this year, with the fellowship exams (adult and paediatric) being in March and May, and Modules One and Two in July and August. Hopefully, with our experience from the past two years, exams can be planned and carried out successfully so that trainees have consistency in both their preparation and examination experience. I thank the Branch Training Coordinators and Committees for their ongoing support for the trainees and urge supervisors once again to concentrate on providing opportunities for clinical examination and teaching at a local level on a regular basis. I'd also like to thank examination committees who have laboured long and hard in the past two years to try and prepare examinations in these most difficult circumstances. I thank you for continuing with this very important work for the Faculty and our trainees.

Research Committee

Preparations for the establishment of our permanent Research Committee of Council are well advanced. Terms of Reference are complete, and Expressions of Interest will be sought in the near future for the first members of the Committee. We look forward to watching the Committee continue the important work done by our Research Working Party over the past two years or so and working with our Academic representative on Council, Professor Fary Khan to pursue important research and academic functions of the Faculty into the future.

Preparation for RACP Congress is well advanced. This will be held in Melbourne in May and includes the George Burniston Oration as well as a rehabilitation medicine session. Please watch for further details about the Congress.

The RMSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting is planned for June on the Gold Coast. It is hoped that we can participate in a face-to-face meeting this year with the borders now being open more reliably. I hope this will enable us to return to important face-to-face gatherings of Faculty members.

Australia Day Honours

Congratulations to Professor Fary Khan and Associate Professor Robert Housley Farnsworth who both received an AM and Dr Conrad Winer an OAM. They are  very worthy recipients of these honours.

Vale Richard Dunstan

It's with sadness that I report the passing of another Faculty Fellow. On this occasion I refer to Dr Richard Dunstan – a paediatric rehabilitation medicine physician from Sydney who passed away recently. Please read the obituary later in this bulletin.

Now that the new year is underway, we will resume the Council and Executive’s schedule of business. The first Council meeting will be held in March and we will continue to press ahead with our two-year plan.

As always, please bear in mind that each year sees the completion of terms for many of our committee members at all levels of the Faculty and that means that we desperately need new Fellows to join the many committees. Please consider where your interest may lie – whether it be in education or policy, or any of the many other important activities of our branches. Please watch the bulletin for Expressions of Interest (EOI) or speak to your branch chair about important vacancies in our committees.

Dr Greg Bowring
AFRM President

RACP employment opportunity – Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment

The RACP Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment is an integral role within the Education Learning and Assessment team. The successful applicant will provide leadership, advice and support for the College’s education program across the membership.

About the role

Reporting to the Executive General Manager, Education Learning and Assessment, you will play a significant role, providing physician leadership and supporting the College’s education and assessment strategy, growing the next generation of supervisors and examiners. You will strengthen and expand the recognition of the key roles training supervisors and examiners play in assuring the high quality of our training programs across both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Help to shape the future direction of the College’s education program by delivering a physician’s perspective and represent our membership base. You will be a trusted adviser to the Senior Leadership Team and the College Education Committee, which is currently progressing a significant program of educational renewal for all 63 College programs.

This high-profile role is ideal if you are looking to expand your career beyond clinical delivery into medical education and impact the future of the College service delivery.

This opportunity is for a 12-month contract with part-time hours of 15 to 22.5 hours per week.

Applications close on Friday, 11 March 2022.

More information about this new role is available on the RACP career webpage.

Obituary: Vale Richard Dunstan

Rehab2Kids received the very sad news that Dr Richard Dunstan passed away last night after a little over a year of ill-health, which he dealt with dignity and courage.

Ric established the Rehabilitation Department at Sydney Children’s Hospital in 1988 and has remained working with us since that time. He was a superb role model for all of us who had the privilege to work alongside him. He truly embodied the rehabilitation team approach, as he always put the child and family front and centre.

Richard was a highly respected work colleague but more importantly a wonderful friend; an empathetic, caring and joyous member of our Rehab2kids family and we will miss him immensely. Richard developed close and lasting relationships with all of the children and families he cared for.

We send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Richard's family – his wife Donna, their children Andrew, Johnathon, Benjamin and Phoebe, his grandchildren, and his mother. We also send our condolences to the general paediatric team at Campbelltown hospital. Richard was a long standing and extremely well-respected general paediatrician at Campbelltown Hospital, and a private general paediatrician in the area. Richard established the Kids of MacArthur Health Foundation to help source equipment funding for the newly emerging paediatric ward at Campbelltown hospital, which is one small example of his drive in caring for others and his community.

Richard will be sorely missed by all. Vale Richard.

Submitted by Dr Maria Kyriagis, FAFRM, FRACP

RACP Fellows honoured

Congratulations to the 29 RACP members recognised in the 2022 Australia Day and Aotearoa New Zealand New Year Honours lists. We also congratulate our trainee Dr Daniel Nour who was awarded the 2022 Young Australian of the Year.

These awards highlight the outstanding work RACP members do and the importance of that work in local, national, and international communities.

View the full list of RACP award recipients.

AFRM Fellowship clinical exams

Applications for the following AFRM Fellowship Clinical exams open soon. Application forms are available to download from the relevant exam webpage.

The AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (General) tests your clinical knowledge and skills in rehabilitation medicine.

Applications open

Monday, 7 February 2022

Applications close

Friday 18 February 2022 - 5pm AEDT

Pre-exam special consideration requests close (for provisions on exam day)

Friday, 18 February 2022

Exam

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Exam day special consideration requests close (for technical and procedural issues)

Friday, 13 May 2022

Results released

Thursday 16 June 2022 - from 3pm AEST

 

The AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (Paediatric) tests your clinical knowledge and skills in paediatric rehabilitation medicine.

This exam will be conducted via Zoom.

Applications open

Monday, 7 February 2022

Applications close

Friday, 18 February 2022 - 5pm AEDT

Pre-exam special consideration requests close (for provisions on exam day)

Friday, 18 February 2022

Exam

Sunday 8 May 2022

Exam day special consideration requests close (for technical and procedural issues)

Friday, 13 May 2022

Results released

Thursday, 16 June 2022 - from 3pm AEST

 

Examination details

We strongly recommended you read the exam information on the relevant webpage - Fellowship Clinical Examination (General) and Fellowship Clinical Examination (Paediatric) – as it includes information about the exam format and what to expect on exam day.

We cannot stress enough how important your wellbeing is to us, so please continue to take care of yourself and your colleagues, and use the RACP Support Program if needed. This free, 24/7 hotline is available for confidential counselling, coaching, and support for workplace and personal issues.

If you any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Bi National Training Program (BNTP) – 2022 timetable

The BNTP lectures will proceed as scheduled. Attendance in person is no longer available but trainees can continue to join via teleconference/videoconference.

If trainees are unable to attend the live teleconference/videoconference, a recording of each session will be available to watch at a more convenient time.

Date

Time

Topic

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

3pm to 5pm AEDT

Illness and injury in the elderly

  • Delirium and dementia

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

3pm to 5pm AEDT

Sarcopenia and frailty in the elderly

  • Geriatric syndromes (falls, Poly pharmacology, incontinence, comorbidities etc.)
  • Residential and community care
  • Frailty and sarcopenia

 

For more information visit RACP events.

Divisional examination readiness online learning resource

The Divisional Examination Readiness online learning resource has been designed to help Basic Trainees understand what to expect and how to prepare for the Divisional Written and Clinical Examinations. It provides information, resources and study tools, as well as Paediatrics and Adult Medicine demonstration videos of short and long cases.

AFRM Advanced Training Deadline

2021 End of Year Requirements

End of year requirements for 2021 are due by Monday, 28 February 2022.

Please note that the way you complete Advanced Training Supervisor’s Reports (ATSR) has changed. Online ATSRs are now available for trainees in Australia. Find out more about the online ATSR pilot here.

Full details of your program requirements can be found on the Training Requirements tab of the General Rehabilitation Medicine Program Requirements and the Paediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Program Requirements webpage.

2022 Applications for Approval of Training

Trainees are required to prospectively apply for approval of training every six or twelve months. Applications for 2022 (or the first six months) are due by Monday, 28 February 2022.

Interruption of training

Trainees not training in the first half of 2022, but have other program requirements outstanding, are required to submit an Application for Interruption as soon as possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your program requirements.

Advanced training online registration for 2022 

Applications for the first half of the training year and the full training year are due by Tuesday, 15 February 2022. Advanced Trainees are required to login to the AT Online Registration System to submit their applications. 

If you are facing issues with access, please open a new window in Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome browser and go to the RACP website. Log in using your RACP ID with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and copy the link to AT Online Registration into your browser. 

Advance training requirements for 2021 

As a result of the disruptions caused by the escalating COVID-19 situation, trainees in Australia have been granted an additional two weeks to complete annual program requirements. The extended deadline is Tuesday, 15 February 2022. Please refer to the program requirements for your specialty and submit all requirements by this deadline. 

Please note that the way you complete Advanced Training Supervisor’s Reports (ATSR) has changed. ATSR’s are now available for Advanced Trainees in Australia. To access the report, you need your RACP ID and multi-factor authentication. Find out more about the online ATSR pilot here.  

Complete your Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops

The Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) is a high-quality training program for final year advanced trainees and Fellows who supervise trainees in RACP-accredited positions.

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and Australian Medical Council (AMC) accreditation standards state that Supervisors are required to be trained. The College Education Committee (CEC) supports the SPDP as the College’s supervisor training program.

To be a RACP Approved Supervisor:

  • All Directors of Physician/Paediatrics Education (DPEs), Advanced Training Supervisors (ATS) and Education Supervisors (ES) are required to complete SPDP 3 by end of 2022.
  • All DPEs, ATS and ES are required to complete (or be exempt from) SPDP 1 and 2 by end of 2022 or in line with their site accreditation cycle (whichever occurs later).
  • Rotational Supervisors (RS) are only required to complete SPDP 3 (non-member RS are encouraged to complete SPDP 3 but there is no requirement).
  • After completing one SPDP workshop and prior to achieving Approved status, supervisors will be referred to as Provisionally Approved.

Register now to attend a face-to-face or virtual workshop or the online course.

Explore RACP Online Learning and gain CPD credits

The RACP invites you to discover our range of educational videos, online courses, and curated collections, designed to support your lifelong learning and professional development. Our educational videos, online courses and curated collections cover a range of clinical and professional topics. Watch this short showreel for a preview of what you'll find on RACP Online Learning.

Developed by experts and RACP Fellows, our resources are adaptable, mobile-friendly, and feature a mix of in-depth content, video scenarios, reflection and discussion activities, and recommended supporting materials. They are also often self-paced and designed to fit around your workload. Plus, you can claim CPD credits for the time you spend on online learning.

Upcoming deadline to record your MyCPD points for 2021

This is a friendly reminder that 2021 MyCPD records are due by Thursday, 31 March 2022.

Additionally, CPD records are now open for 2022.

2022 CPD requirements remain the same as 2021, please see the 2022 MyCPD Framework for details. Please note that the Medical Council of New Zealand has additional mandatory requirements for New Zealand practitioners.

Helpful links:

Please don’t hesitate to contact the CPD Team for further assistance:

Australia
1300 697 227 (option 3 for CPD)
MyCPD@racp.edu.au

Aotearoa New Zealand
04 460 8122
MyCPD@racp.org.nz

Managing future face-to-face meetings, events, and onsite visits

The health and safety of our members and staff are key priorities for the College. We currently require all visitors to be vaccinated (or have a medical exemption) if they wish to attend any of our office locations. This includes all members, staff, and guests.

RACP members are defined as healthcare workers in each local jurisdiction and are required to be fully vaccinated to attend work. We are extending this requirement to RACP events and meetings to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

If you are attending an RACP office or event, you must follow all guidelines, controls and rules implemented by the College, including signing in via QR code (where provided) and providing proof of vaccination. We also encourage you to wear a face mask where you cannot physically distance, or where required by your jurisdiction.

We will continue to review requirements and will notify you of any changes accordingly.

Rehab in Review Journal

Rehab in Review is a surveillance journal where editors scan 70 rehabilitation related journals for the best, most up-to-date literature important to the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Rehab in Review is produced by physicians specialising in physical medicine and rehabilitation, with the cooperation and assistance of the Emory University School of Medicine (Georgia, USA), Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. The publication is generously provided to the Faculty and its members at no cost.

View the Rehab in Review January 2022 edition.

AFRM Symposium for AFRM Aotearoa New Zealand members

The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine invites Fellows and trainees to attend the annual symposium. The Symposium provides Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM members with a platform to network, present research, education and case presentations, and discuss updates in rehabilitation medicine.

Date: Saturday, 26 February 2022, 10am to 3pm NZDT

Location: Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland - Venue TBC

During the event, the Dr Boris Mak Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee Award will also be presented. The award, which is made possible through the generosity of the late Dr Boris Mak FAFRM, offers a first-place prize of $1,000 for the best trainee presentation and a second prize of $500.

For more information about the award, visit the RACP website.

For more information about the Symposium, email Aotearoa NZ AFRM.

90 days until RACP Congress 2022

2022Congress_eDM_All

With less than 90 days until RACP Congress, session details are being finalised. Join us for an important session on the Impact of the pandemic on the health of Australians. Don’t miss the session on the Evolving role of cancer survivorship and rehabilitation. This session will provide an overview of cancer in Australia, the role of rehabilitation, address issues such as cancer-related sarcopenia and the perspective of cancer survivorship services. Associate Professor Manoj Sivan will also deliver the George Burniston Oration titled, Opportunities and challenges of an academic career in Rehabilitation Medicine.

There are also plenty of engaging shared sessions that should not be missed, including:

  • The wellbeing of doctors
  • Policy and Advocacy: Tired of COVID? Aren’t we all? Navigating ethical tensions during a pandemic
  • Gender equity in medicine
  • Improving workforce and support for rural and remote communities

Explore the RACP Congress 2022 program

RACP Congress 2022 shared sessions

Whether you're joining us in person or virtually, RACP Congress 2022 has some particularly pertinent shared sessions. Hear from experts addressing the current situation with COVID-19, as well as leading voices discussing the many other issues impacting the future of healthcare. Join the conversation as we explore ways to create positive systemic change and improvement.

View all of the session topics, including clinical updates and research, on the Congress website. Don’t forget you can claim CPD credits for attendance at RACP Congress - for both in-person and virtual attendance.

Trainee sessions announced

2022RACP_trainees_launch_eDMAs part of the RACP Congress program, the CPC is pleased to announce some special sessions specifically designed for trainees.

Join us in-person or virtually for topics such as:

  • Obstacles to exam preparation: the things we don't talk about
  • Trainee burnout and wellness

Check out these and other Congress sessions on the RACP Congress website.

Last chance for Fellows to secure an early bird ticket.

Time is running out to secure your early bird ticket to RACP Congress. Use code EARLY22 when completing your registration before Monday, 28 February to receive your discount.

You’re invited to the RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day 2022 on Saturday, 2 April 2022. Developed by trainees for trainees, content ranges from big picture issues to professional skill building, honest storytelling and the annual RACP Trainees' Dinner. This event offers the perfect opportunity to connect with the wider trainee community, take time out to think strategically about your career, and hear practical wisdom from experienced professionals. 

Register now: Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day 2022

The Child Health Summit

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Professor John Wilson is looking forward to hosting the College’s virtual Child Health Summit on Friday, 18 February from 10am to 11.30am AEDT

During the Summit, the Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign will be launched. The campaign is an advocacy initiative of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division. The campaign aims to elevate the health and wellbeing of children and young people as we recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Summit will feature an expert panel, including:

  • Anne Hollonds, National Children's Commissioner
  • Dr Elkie Hull, Advanced Trainee in Paediatrics and proud Gamilaraay woman
  • Chris O’Connell, 16-year-old Melbourne high-school student and UNICEF Young Ambassador
  • Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Director, Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital and Population Health Theme Director at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Professor Frank Oberklaid AM, Co-Chair on the National Children’s Mental Health Strategy
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service

Register for the Child Health Summit.

Kids' COVID Catch Up Campaign - RACP Member Workshop

On the evening prior to the national Summit, RACP President-elect Dr Jacqueline Small will host a member-only campaign workshop from 6pm to 7pm AEDT on how to get involved in the Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign. Join the workshop to learn more and to share your ideas.

Register now.

Check out the AFRM Community on the ROC

Have you logged into the RACP Online Community (ROC) yet? If not, now is the perfect time to visit the website and learn how to connect with the AFRM Online Community. The ROC is a secure online forum of communities exclusively for all RACP Fellows and traineesMembers are automatically entitled to join the ROC, as a part of their College membership. If you haven’t used this type of platform before, think of it as a virtual town hall for the entire College and a series of different online common rooms for different Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

Watch this short video to find out what members have to say about their experience on the ROC.

To join the ROC, download the app from the App Store or Google Play or login via MyRACP.

Explore the ROC online directory

Did you know that the ROC has an ‘all member’ online directory that enables you to find your colleagues, send a message, and chat directly with other members? The ROC online directory is intuitive and easy to use, with a search function that allows you to find your colleagues in a few simple steps.

Login to the ROC and connect with your colleagues today.

Postgraduate Research Scholarships in Practice Analytics

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The Practice Analytics research program seeks to understand how hospitals can provide clinical teams and individual clinicians with actionable data that relates to the quality of clinical practice. It explores research and development projects related to the use of electronic health data for reflective practice and enhancing professional practice.

The program is a collaboration between a number of partners across Australia including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Cabrini Healthcare (VIC), Sydney Adventist Healthcare (NSW), St John of God hospital (WA), Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation and Epworth Healthcare (VIC) and is part of the Digital Health Centre for Cooperative Research.

The program is delivered via a suite of applied research projects including:

• Surgical Learning Loops – aims to understand how data from emerging technologies such as surgical robots can support practice reflection and professional learning.

• Ethical and Legal Considerations of Practice Analytics – aims to understand the ethical and policy implications for organisations and individual clinicians when using electronic health data for reflective practice.

Some clinical partners have already started to explore how data is collected within their organisations and how it can be presented to their clinical workforce.

A scholarship to support two postgraduate research students who undertake the projects is currently available. Applications close 14 February 2022. Find out more or submit an application.

Pomegranate Health podcast: Ep 77 – Deciding with children

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This episode is shared from the Essential Ethics podcast produced at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. It is presented by paediatric respiratory physician, John Massie and clinical ethicist, Lynn Gillam who are respectively the Clinical Lead and Academic Director of the Children's Bioethics Centre.

In a series titled, Deciding with Children they raise the following questions; when can a child be considered to have autonomy to make healthcare decisions for themselves? What intrinsic rights does a young patient have up to this age of so-called Gillick competence? How should responsibility for difficult decisions be shared between the patients, parents and clinicians? And is it possible to minimise the moral injury when the wishes of the patient need to be over-ruled?

Guests:

  • Professor Lynn Gillam (Academic Director, Children’s Bioethics Centre, University of Melbourne)
  • Professor John Massie FRACP (Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne)
  • Associate Professor Clare Delany (Children’s Bioethics Centre, University of Melbourne)
  • Associate Professor Daryl Efron (Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne)

Access the full series of Essential Ethics podcasts on the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne website.

Do you want to be among the first to find out about more Pomegranate Health podcasts? Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting app. RACP Fellows can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our webpage

Reinstatement of telephone MBS items for specialist telehealth retained

The RACP welcomes the reinstatement of telephone MBS items for specialist telehealth for the next six months, especially under the surging pandemic conditions. The RACP has strongly advocated for the retainment of MBS items for phone consultations. Patients will now be able to safely communicate with their specialists without being exposed to potential infection or forgoing specialist care altogether. 

Telephone items are the key to ensuring access to specialist care for many Australians during and beyond the pandemic. The College has consistently argued that phone consultations are preferred by many patients or necessitated by patient-specific circumstances such as old age, fragility, intellectual disabilities, deficit in technology skills, low bandwidth, geographical barriers, and inability to access in-person care.

We are especially pleased that telephone items will be available for initial, as well as complex consultations, and that telehealth rebates are now available for inpatients who wish to receive a consultation with their specialist. Complex consultations via telephone are vital for specialist physicians who often see patients when they have multiple conditions that require more complex care.

We will continue to advocate for the retainment of these items beyond mid-2022 in the interest of our patients and members. 

For more information regarding the changes, visit Temporary items to 30 June 2022

Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022–2023

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) published the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022–23 (the Framework) and the accompanying Consultation Report. These documents are available on the IHPA website.

The RACP submission to the consultation process on the Framework addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of hospital services future funding models, which reflect the IHPA’s shift from paying for volume of services to paying for value and patient outcomes. It also addressed avoidable and preventable hospitalisations and adjustments to the national efficient price.

IHPA has now responded to our submission acknowledging key points of feedback and committing to work with the College and other stakeholders on progressing these areas of reform. We encourage you to read the response to the submission.

Pre-Budget Submission 2022-2023 to the Australian Government Treasury

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight and exacerbate key deficiencies in the Australian health system and persistent socioeconomic issues which influence both the system and the health and wellbeing of Australians.

The Federal Budget 2022-2023 is an opportunity to reset; to focus on addressing the underlying causes of poor health and put in place the foundations for long term better and more equitable health and wellbeing outcomes.

The College’s Pre-Budget Submission 2022-2023 titled ‘Delivering a Future-Focused Health System for Equitable Care and Healthier Communities’ offers a constructive, practical set of recommendations based on the expertise and experience of our members working across primary, community and hospital settings in the public and private sector. The recommendations to the Federal Government are focused on seven priority areas:

  1. Boosting the COVID-19 response, recovery, and pandemic preparedness for future communicable diseases
  2. Delivering integrated and innovative healthcare to improve access and quality of care
  3. Building an appropriately funded and safe medical specialist workforce
  4. Closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  5. Prioritising the health and wellbeing of children and young people and their recovery from the setbacks of COVID-19
  6. Enabling Australians to live longer and healthier lives by strengthening support for preventive health
  • Fund evidence-based ‘best buy’ preventive health measures
  • Improve access to services for alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention
  • Maintain a strong NDIS
  • Enhance consumer and carer health literacy

 7. Making our health system low-carbon and climate resilient.

As the College continues to advocate for the recommendations included in the submission, we will be asking members to support this important work through a forthcoming campaign.

Update on MBS Specialist Telehealth Services

The College continues to advocate for appropriately designed and funded permanent telehealth specialist MBS items on behalf its members and patients. Our advocacy work focuses on securing equitable access for priority populations and those in regional and remote areas.

While the RACP welcomed the introduction of the permanent items in late 2021, we have been raising member concerns in relation to some aspects of the arrangements in our submissions to and meetings with the Department of Health and our December 2021 media release. The main concerns included the removal of specialist telehealth phone items and imposing the 30-20 auditing rule.

Our strong advocacy has recently resulted in two wins:

  • the Government has reinstated 33 initial and complex specialist telephone consultation items and 40 specialist inpatient telehealth items until 30 June 2022. A RACP media release welcomed this decision.
  • the introduction of the 30-20 auditing rule is being delayed and reviewed for impact on access to specialist care. A RACP media release reiterated our advocacy against this threshold.

As part of our continued advocacy on telehealth, we are planning a campaign to highlight the implications of removing specialist telehealth phone items post-June 2022. Central to this campaign will be case studies to demonstrate the unintended negative consequences associated with such removals, especially for underserviced and priority populations and those in regional and remote areas. We are looking for such case studies from members.

We would like to hear from you if you have a compelling case study that needs to be shared. Please submit your details by Monday, 14 February 2022 to RACPConsult@racp.edu.au.

The Department also prepared guidance material for practitioners, billing agents and other parties involved in Medicare billing to understand when hospital treatment - 75 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent - benefits apply to services claimed under MBS.

Reporting adverse events post-COVID vaccination through to the TGA

In early January 2022, the first cases of myocarditis as an adverse event related to COVID-19 booster vaccines were reported by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 

The TGA has been intensively monitoring suspected vaccine-related side effects throughout the COVID-19 immunisation roll-out period, to identify trends or spikes that might indicate vaccine safety issues.

Plans are now being finalised to guarantee that adverse events, such as myocarditis, continue to be monitored in the medium term, mirroring the approach of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consumers and health professionals are encouraged to report any suspected side effects post-immunisation, even if there’s only a small chance a vaccine was the cause, to allow ongoing analysis and monitoring of any potential safety issues.

The TGA has provided a guide for consumers and health professionals to report suspected side effects (adverse events) associated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports can also be made to health professionals, state or territory health departments and the NPS MedicineWise Adverse Medicine Events Line on 1300 134 237.

All reports of suspected side effects will continue to be included in the TGA’s follow-up research to maintain and improve vaccine safety.

Career Opportunities

Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment, RACP, Sydney CBD
Applications close on Friday, 11 March 2022.

Registrar / Principal House Officer – Geriatric and Rehabilitation Services, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Rockhampton, QLD
Applications close 17 February 2022.

Rehabilitation Physician Cairns Private Hospital, Far North Queensland, QLD
Applications close 22 February 2022.

Rehabilitation Medicine Physician Disability Medical, Ashburton, VIC
Applications close 28 February 2022.

Research Assistant (Rehabilitation and Pain Management) St Vincent's Centre for Applied Medical  Research (AMR) Darlinghurst, Sydney NSW
Applications close 24 Februray 2022.

For career opportunities, view all positions vacant on the RACP website.

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 events are coming up.

Trainee 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.

Bi-National Training Program (BNTP)

NSW Lecture Series

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

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ)
RMSANZ is the professional body for Rehabilitation Physicians and Trainees in Australia & New Zealand.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC)
The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is the national rehabilitation medicine clinical registry of Australia and New Zealand.

AFRM contact details

Member enquiries

Phone: (AUS) 1300 69 7227
Phone: (NZ) 0508 69 7227
Email: memberservices@racp.edu.au

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and Committees)

Caroline Lambert
Executive Officer, AFRM
Email: afrm@racp.edu.au

AFRM Aotearoa NZ Committee

Marion Salter
Executive Officer, DFAC’s AoNZ
Phone: +64 4 460 8142
Email: nz_afrm@racp.org.nz

AFRM education and training enquiries

Jessica Ward
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6237
Email: rehab@racp.edu.au

AFRM oral examination enquiries

Ella Campbell
Examination Coordinator
Phone: +61 2 9256 9659
Email: faculty.examinations@racp.edu.au 

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries

Jessica Ward
Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
Email: accreditation@racp.edu.au

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