AFRM eBulletin – 29 May 2020

A message from your President

Dear AFRM members,

This is my first chance as President of the Faculty to say hello to those of you who don’t already know me.

Who am I?

I am Director of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH), a public sector teaching hospital in Sydney. I have spent more than 30 years in public sector practice as a clinician and department head. I have also worked for five years in private sector inpatient rehabilitation practice and spent two years working overseas in a government hospital in the Middle East.

My inpatient caseload experience was predominantly neurological for the first 20 years and has become more dominated by reconditioning/orthopaedic/amputee patients in the last 10 years. My outpatient experience has largely reflected the inpatient load but with additional significant musculoskeletal and amputee emphasis. My amputee exposure even allowed me to glimpse the world of paediatric rehabilitation – a rare privilege for an adult clinician. Upper limb amputees and multi-limb amputees have become my predominant interest in recent years. I am very committed to teaching about amputee management and some of you may have attended the courses we run at POWH, originally initiated by Dr Lorraine Jones in the 1980s. I have always been a supervisor of trainees, a contributor to teaching and was drawn into the world of Faculty committees from my first year after Fellowship. 

I began my medical career intending to be a psychiatrist, then a geriatrician but was drawn towards neurology after graduation. I am eternally grateful to Professor Richard Jones and Dr Stella Engel for drawing me into rehabilitation medicine somewhat against my initial inclination. They were absolutely correct that it has the perfect mix of Biopsychosocial dimensions which has kept me engaged and loving every minute ever since. Not to mention the multidisciplinary teamwork – I can’t imagine a better area of medical practice.

The Faculty has always had a highly engaged membership, more so than many other areas of the College – at least in part because we were a small group trying to cover a lot of jobs, but also because we are, I suspect, by nature a community minded bunch of medicos. It was natural for me, like so many of you, to become involved in the work of the Faculty and ultimately to seek this job as your President. I hope I can live up to the tremendous work done by previous incumbents.

The next two years

The AFRM Council typically plans in two-year cycles of work. We will be meeting for our planning day on 29 June 2020 to formulate these in more detail. The Faculty is naturally focused on specialty training, continuing professional development and promoting academic rigour.

You will see the report from Dr Caitlin Anderson, Chair of the Faculty Education Committee (FEC), which follows my message in this eBulletin. The FEC oversees the work of several vital committees which cover accreditation, assessment and teaching.

Dr Jenny Mann, President-elect, Chairs the Faculty Policy & Advocacy Committee (FPAC) which has several important policy documents under development and contributes to many important wider policy areas where the College seeks our input. Further details about FPAC’s work can be found on the RACP website.

The Research Working Group, led by Associate Professor Michael Pollack, set up under the previous AFRM Council, has an ambitious agenda to promote and nurture research through mentoring trainees in their research projects, promote wider use of the Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) data repository and support academic rigour in our scientific output. 

I’ll have more to say about the AFRM Council Plan later in the year, but suffice to say that beyond our usual core business, including curriculum renewal and maintaining a good working relationship with the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ), I would like to see us roll out the marketing toolkit documents which Professor Tim Geraghty has worked so hard on. This is designed to help Fellows raise their profile and that of our specialty group. 

An additional focus of attention is the issue of workforce planning. We need to develop a better understanding of our workforce projections into the future; this is a complex area and we can expect significant support from the College in examining and analysing it. Part of the puzzle is to assess areas of practice which offer opportunities for our Fellows to expand scope of practice, especially in the ambulatory care space.


Who would have believed the enormous disruption to our personal lives, our workplace arrangements, our society and the world which 2020 has seen since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged? It is so far beyond anything most of us have experienced. And we still live with the uncertainty of what the future may hold. I know that many of you are directly affected by this, either through work dislocation or curtailment. Others have been involved in high level planning at hospital and Local Health District level.

Please be aware that we are exploring how we can best manage our response to COVID-19 which we hope will take the form of a Special Interest Group (SIG), under Chair Dr Jane Malone. Many resource documents are already being collated to assist in your responses.

Thank you

I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to Professor Tim Geraghty (outgoing President), Associate Professor Andrew Cole (the previous Past President) and Dr Caitlin Anderson (FEC Chair). They have been ably supported by College staff including Stacey Barabash (former Executive Officer), Jane Henderson (current Executive Officer), Jo Goldrick (Faculties Manager) and Lisa Penlington (Executive General Manager, Member Services). They have done an enormous amount of work every week to stay on top of our own agenda and deal with the rapidly evolving landscape which the Faculty occupies.

Please get involved

Those of you who work on our many committees will be well aware of how much work is required to keep our Faculty business running. I thank you all for the work you have done and continue to do, and implore all Fellows to seek areas to join us in this work. The Faculty has committees which cover the whole gamut of adult and paediatric rehabilitation education – from accreditation, to assessment (including several exam committees), teaching and supervisor training/support. We also have FPAC and a Research Working Group. These committees often have a trainee representative and there is also a dedicated Trainees’ Committee. We also have Regional Committees and an Aotearoa New Zealand Committee which are heavily involved in registrar training and dealing with specific regional issues.
Please look at the website for more information about these and be prepared to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) when members are sought. Jane Henderson, our Executive Officer, can be contacted at if you are unsure what is available or how to move forward. 


Remember that we produce an eBulletin monthly and the Rhaïa newsletter twice a year specifically to keep you on top of issues with which we are grappling. This takes quite a lot of effort so please ensure it doesn’t end up in your spam folder and when you see it, read it straight away. We design it so you can quickly scan the contributions before diving deeper into them.

I look forward to working with you over the next two years!

Dr Greg Bowring 
AFRM President

Update on AFRM training and examinations

Thank you all for your patience while we work through the complexities of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on AFRM training, accreditation and exams. As you will all no doubt be well aware, there are many disruptive consequences of this pandemic. Rest assured that we are attempting to design workable solutions for trainees and supervisors that balance practicalities with the need to ensure that training program integrity is maintained, all while adhering to social distancing, gathering and travel restriction requirements. A further complication is the uncertainty of how the pandemic will play out over time. 

As previously mentioned, some interim changes are set by the College Education Committee (CEC) in a whole of College approach designed to ensure fairness and consistency across all training programs.  This includes the postponement of exams, Advanced Training project amendments, time limit extensions and temporary cessation of site accreditation for 2020. More specific interim changes to AFRM training requirements such as in-training and formal long case assessments, supervisor reports and progression through training issues are able to be designed more locally through the Faculty Training Committee (FTC) and Faculty Paediatric Training and Assessment Committee (FPTAC) with oversight from the AFRM Council Executive and Faculty Education Committee (FEC).  

A brief snapshot of the recent decisions and ongoing planning includes: 

  1. Exams
    The Faculty Assessment Committee and AFRM COVID-19 Working Group, in consultation with the RACP Exams Unit, have been working hard to reschedule the Adult and Paediatric AFRM Fellowship Written and Clinical Exams as well as Module 1 and 2 assessments which have been postponed until 2021. Proposed dates are currently under consideration with the aim of giving trainees as much notice as possible to ensure sufficient preparation time. Work is also continuing on the Computer Based Testing pilot for Module 1 in 2021.  
  2. Advanced Training Research Project
    The CEC has released further clarification about the Advanced Training project in response to feedback. It is important to note that the Advanced Training research project should continue to be completed where possible. If a final year trainee is not able to complete their research project and wants to have this requirement waived, they must submit a request to the Faculty Training Committee outlining the reasons why they are unable to complete it. This would need to be supported by their research supervisor. Further guidance on this can be found on the RACP website.
  3. Other training program requirements
    The FTC and FPTAC have convened virtual meetings to consider interim changes to training program requirements. They have been well supported by College staff, who have developed templates to ensure all program elements are appropriately considered. Approval pathways have been developed to ensure decisions can be made quickly while still ensuring sufficient oversight to ensure the changes are fair and workable. Final approval of these changes will be provided by the CEC. We hope to communicate further updates as soon as possible, but in the interim, trainees should continue to complete training requirements if they are able.   
  4. Frequently asked questions
    The RACP website contains important updates and information regarding training, accreditation and examinations. The FAQ page on the RACP website now contains FAQs for trainees, Fellows and training settings.

Dr Caitlin Anderson
AFRM Education Committee Chair
On behalf of the AFRM COVID-19 Training and Exams Working Group

Updates on Advanced Training Curricula Renewal 

The common standards for Advanced Training curricula have now been finalised.

Thank you to all members who participated in consultation activities on the draft common standards throughout 2019. Your feedback was used to identify the content that is common across the Advanced Training programs and to refine that content.

There is more work to be done to develop appropriate competencies for cultural competence. We will continue development and consultation in this area. 

This year we will also focus on developing the common elements of the learning, teaching and assessment programs that will support the new Advanced Training curricula. 

Some specialties will also start developing their program-specific curriculum content with assistance from the Curriculum Advisory Group and RACP Curriculum Team. 

COVID-19 and rehabilitation

An AFRM Group have continued to meet and prepare for a COVID-19 pandemic of rehabilitation patients, in case one should ever arrive. This month, French Mauritian Australian Dr Rajen Ragavan, zoomed in from the mid-north coast of NSW to detail the coronavirus rehab response happening in the middle of France and pulmonary rehabilitation physician Dr Barbara Hannon delivered an airtight presentation on COVID-19 and pulmonary rehabilitation 2020.

We continue to share articles and resources online. My recent pick is a COVID-19 link that Rajen sent through from his colleagues based in France, which can be viewed on the Sofmer Journal club website.

We continue to watch the curve and wash our hands.

Dr Jane Malone


Apply for a Digital Health Scholarship 

In partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, the RACP are offering digital health scholarships to eligible Australian Fellows and trainees. 

Ten $4,000 scholarships are available for Fellows and trainees familiar with or practicing the use of My Health Record and/or other digital health initiatives in the healthcare environment.

Applicants must:

  • be an RACP Fellow or trainee who resides in Australia
  • be currently employed in a public or private accredited clinical environment
  • have a recent, demonstrated record of adopting various digital health initiatives.

Applications close on Wednesday, 10 June 2020.

For further information and to apply visit the EOI webpage

New resources for physicians who work with people with disability from the Australian Government

The Commonwealth Department of Health recently developed resources about COVID-19 for people with a disability. The website provides a simple overview of issues relating to people with a disability, including the Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability. In her capacity as President of the Australian Association of Disability Medicine, President-elect Dr Jacki Small was part of the advisory committee which developed the resources and which has continued meeting to oversee the implementation of the plan.

The COVID-19 plan for people with a disability outlines how key activities will operate and how the Australian public can support the national response. The following information is provided in the plan: 

  • what we know about the disease and the outbreak 
  • what sort of risk COVID‐19 represents 
  • what the health sector will be doing to respond 
  • how the Government’s response will affect people 
  • what people can do to contribute
  • how people can manage their own risk, the risk to their families and their communities.

An easy-read version of the plan is also available. 

Apply for the new role of RACP Executive General Manager Strategy and People and Dean of the College

We are recruiting for a strategic leadership role which has been newly created for an RACP Fellow. 
The Executive General Manager Strategy and People and Dean of the College is an integral component of our Senior Leadership Team. The successful applicant will play a significant role in enhancing the strategic impact of the College, representing the greater membership and enhancing the strength of the partnership between members and staff. 

About the role

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer you will be a leader of the RACP, managing several business areas including the Strategic Coordination Unit, the College Foundation, International Partnerships, the Office of the Dean and People and Culture (formerly HR). 

In this new role you’ll help shape our new direction by delivering a physician’s perspective across the entire College that supports, engages and represents our membership base. You will be a trusted adviser to the Board, its Peak Committees and the CEO. You’ll also play a key role interacting with external stakeholders to evolve the model of healthcare in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. 

This high-profile role is ideal if you are looking to expand your career beyond clinical delivery into organisational leadership and development. 

More information about this critical new role is available in the job advertisement and position description

Expressions of Interest – College Education Committee Chair

The RACP Board is seeking Expressions of Interests for the Chair of the College Education Committee (CEC) which is the peak committee overseeing all education, training and assessment policy and strategy.

The Chair of the CEC will be appointed by an Expression of Interest process with selection and approval by the Board.

As Chair, the successful applicant will need to commit to attending all meetings throughout the year. Meetings are held three times per year face-to-face, with at least two additional teleconference meetings or as required. There will also be a requirement, as Chair, to participate in several assessment and education committees of the College and associated workshops.

Read the full EOI

WEBINAR: Restructuring financial affairs post COVID-19 – loans, mortgages, superannuation and insurances

RACP and The Professional Medical Practice have worked together to create a webinar on how to restructure your financial affairs to optimise the outcomes and get you back on track despite the massive disruption caused by COVID-19.

Our speakers will cover various topics surrounding investment, loans, mortgages, superannuation and insurances.

Date: Thursday, 4 June 2020
Time: 7pm to 8pm (AEST)

Registrations are essential so make sure you register your interest online.

Applications for Motor Accident Injury Accreditation Scheme Medical Expert Peer Reviewers

In the South Australian Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance Scheme, a person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

The Motor Accident Injury Accreditation Scheme (MAIAS) accredits medical practitioners to undertake Injury Scale Value (ISV) medical assessments to assist in determining an injured person’s entitlement to compensation. 

The key objective of MAIAS is to create an independent system that provides consistent, objective and reliable ISV medical assessments. 

The MAIAS Administrator is currently seeking to appoint a number of medical experts to the MAIAS with an interest in conducting quality assurance reviews, peer mentoring, coaching and training. 

As part of a team, medical expert peer reviewers support the MAIAS Administrator by contributing to:

  • the structure and delivery of quality assurance activities 
  • the annual quality assurance review of ISV Medical Assessment Reports
  • ongoing feedback and mentoring for Accredited Medical Practitioners to improve performance
  • development and delivery of training to support education for the scheme.

To be eligible, applicants must have CTP Scheme knowledge and expertise in AMA5 or GEPIC. 

Information on the appointments and how to apply is available via a simple login on the Tenders SA website. Applications must be submitted via the Tenders SA website by close of business on Tuesday, 23 June 2020.

For further enquiries, call 1300 303 558 or email

For further information on MAIAS visit the MAIAS website.

Neurological rehabilitation eLearning course

This eLearning course, managed by the University of Melbourne, provides an outline of neurological rehabilitation and covers the basic principles of management of disabilities resulting from a neurological condition. Clinical case studies and multiple-choice questions are designed to optimise comprehension and learning. The course is suitable for clinicians working in rehabilitation, including rehabilitation physicians, GPs, rehabilitation trainees, medical students, nurses and allied health professionals. 

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the impact of various disabilities on patient outcomes in terms of function and participation.
  • Knowledge to assess, manage/treat and prognosticate outcomes for patients with a range of disabilities in accord with best evidence.
  • Apply knowledge to address specific complications and comorbidities associated with various neurological conditions.
  • Outline a rehabilitation 'action plan' appropriate for patients with a neurological condition.
  • Understand how to manage an interdisciplinary rehabilitation service.

For more information and a course brochure, visit the University of Melbourne website.

Calling rehabilitation physicians working in the aged care Sector – RACP submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The RACP will respond to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s call for submissions on the impact of the COVID-19 on the aged care sector. The RACP is calling on AFRM members who work in the aged care sector to provide feedback. Further details can be viewed on the Royal Commission’s website and the full media release is available. 

Also, the RACP’s submission from December 2019 can be viewed on the RACP website. Among a range of important recommendations, we have underlined the need for:

  • risk assessment
  • instilling more health literacy within the community on healthy ageing
  • emphasising early patient centred management of conditions in cross sector integrated approaches 
  • reducing avoidable hospital admissions
  • improving cross sector connectivity and improving the continuum of care.

Key points suggested to consider when providing feedback (although the terms are open):

  • immediate healthcare concerns to bring to the attention of the Commission 
  • special needs areas such as dementia care, disability, remote groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • longer term ramifications of COVID-19 where some mitigation of risks can be proposed
  • particular systemic vulnerabilities COVID-19 has exposed
  • ways in which the continuum of care can be improved. 

Please send your input to by Monday, 1 June  2020.

Research awards and travel grants for 2021

Applications for the AFRM Bruce Ford Travel Fellowship and the AFRM Research Development Scholarship open Monday, 1 June 2020 and we encourage all trainees and Fellows to apply.

The AFRM Bruce Ford Travel Fellowship provides support to those who wish to undertake formal research training by taking up an overseas research position.

The AFRM Research Development Scholarship is available to fund smaller research projects to support and encourage research in the field of rehabilitation medicine.

Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding for 2021 under the following award categories:

Full details for these opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation website.

Trainee Research Awards proceeding in 2020

Applications for Trainee Research Awards are open from Wednesday, 1 July to Monday, 31 August 2020. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity for trainees to do an oral presentation of their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited to be part of the Research and Innovation stream at the 2021 RACP Congress.

Please send your abstract submissions or inquiries by email to your respective regional RACP offices.

RMSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting

The Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) 5th Annual Scientific Meeting has been postponed until next year. The new dates are Tuesday, 22 June to Friday, 25 June 2021 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. The theme for RMSANZ 2021 is Forging Alliances – New Horizons.

"In the midst of cataclysmic carnages that COVID-19 has wrought upon our society and health system, this theme speaks to the precious, enduring bond we have with our patients and with one another, the unfolding and expanding possibilities arising from a paradigm-shifting event, as well as heralding the collaborative and inter-disciplinary nature of future rehabilitation practice both in the hospital setting and in the communities," said Benjamin Chen, Convenor.

Dates for abstract submissions to follow.

RMSANZ Extraordinary General Meeting 

An Extraordinary General Meeting of RMSANZ is required to make a constitutional change. A notice was emailed on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 and can be viewed in the 'Members Only' section of the RMSANZ website.

More information will follow shortly. If you have any questions, please contact the RMSANZ at

Hip labral tears – consideration factors to enable rapid decisions for ACC cover

ACC’s Clinical Services and the New Zealand Hip Society (in association with the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association) are pleased to announce they have finalised the Hip Consideration Factors: Labral tears document which can be viewed on the ACC website.

Position open on the AFRM Assessment Committee

The AFRM Assessment Committee seeks expressions of interest from Fellows to coordinate Long Case Assessments for the Faculty. The Long Case Assessment (LCA) Coordinator is a member of the AFRM Assessment Committee, a sub-committee of the AFRM Education Committee. The LCA Coordinator is responsible to the Chair of the Assessment Committee who reports to the AFRM Education Committee.

Members of the Committee are appointed for a period of two years, which can be renewed every two years up to a maximum of six years.

The LCA Coordinator will be required to attend six Assessment Subcommittee meetings: one face-to-face meeting and five teleconferences.

For more information visit the RACP website.

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep58: Billing Part Two – Compliance and the Free Market

In this episode we continue the discussion from episode 56 about medical billing in Australia. Almost 500 million Medicare rebates are processed every year and for the most part these are claimed appropriately. But non-compliant billing could be costing the health system over $2 billion annually. The vast majority of this comes down to misunderstanding of the conditions around MBS items, according to our guest Loryn Einstein of Medical Billing Experts.

Every year the Department of Health shifts its attention onto a different specialty area to look at the statistical spread of claiming behaviour. Practitioners at the top end of the curve receive warning letters and flagged practitioners who persist with unaccountable billing behaviour will have their practice audited more thoroughly. Finally, they may be referred to the Professional Services Review, a sort of judicial panel made up of clinical peers.

Questions have been raised by professional bodies and lawyers about the sensitivity of these processes to clinical nuance or procedural fairness, and the lack of education available to practitioners. We hear responses to such concerns from the Department of Health.

Finally, we take a look at the huge range of private medical fees in Australia. Loryn Einstein considers how factors like regulation and supply and demand shape this market.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources.

Subscribe to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunesSpotify or any Android podcasting app.

Listen to podcast

AFRM Expression of Interest – Membership of the Paediatric MCQ Approval Working Group

The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) Faculty Paediatric Training and Assessment Committee (FPTAC) is seeking enthusiastic AFRM Paediatric Fellows for membership of the Multiple-choice Question (MCQ) Approval Working Group.

This is your opportunity to help your Faculty and to contribute to the training of the next group of paediatric rehabilitation physicians. 

Key responsibilities of the MCQ Approval Working Group are:

  • participate in MCQ development meetings with other members of the working party by teleconference, to review and amend draft questions submitted by Fellows 
  • approve draft questions submitted to the Working Party for inclusion in the AFRM Paediatric MCQ Bank
  • write multiple choice questions on specific topic areas assessed in the curriculum and submit them to the MCQ Approval Working Group for approval
  • participate in the annual review of questions in the Question Bank to ensure that the questions in the Bank remain current.

For further information and to complete an expression of interest form please go to the RACP website.

I look forward to receiving your expression of interest. 

Dr Kim McLennan

Positions still available on AFRM committees

Following the RACP election process, there are various positions available on College councils and committees.

You are invited to express your interest in the positions available on:

To apply to join any of the above Committees, please visit the RACP website.

Bi National Training Program – 2020 timetable 

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

If trainees cannot join the live teleconference/videoconference, the recording of the sessions are uploaded to the event listings webpage to watch at a convenient time.

Further details of each presentation are also available on the event listings webpage

Date Time Topic
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Peripheral Neuropathy

Guillain Barre Syndrome
Wednesday, 22 July 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Spinal cord injury and disease

Paediatric spinal cord injury
Wednesday, 26 August 2020 3pm to 5pm AEDT
Spinal cord injury and disease
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Multidisciplinary management of spinal cord injury
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT

Multiple Sclerosis

  • pathogenesis and management
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Parkinson’s disease

Motor neurone disease

AFOEM COVID-19 – Guidance for pregnant healthcare workers now available online 

The Australian Government’s Infection Control Expert Group has advised that they have endorsed the AFOEM COVID-19 – Guidance for pregnant healthcare workers.

This document is now available online via the RACP COVID-19 webpage under Advice and news > Clinical advice for physicians.

Access the AFOEM COVID-19 – Guidance for pregnant healthcare workers online.

No more time to waste: Pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic products 

It has taken over two decades since the first calls for effective and mandatory alcohol pregnancy labeling in Australia for the issue to become subject to government regulation. For well over a decade now the RACP has actively supported this crucial and cost-effective intervention to reduce alcohol-related harm amongst the most vulnerable – children. 

In March 2020, when a new, mandatory evidence-based regime recommended by Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) finally seemed within reach, then-RACP President Associate Professor Mark Lane sent a letter of support for the measure to all federal, state and territory Ministers responsible for approving the scheme. Yet again, the approval of best-practice labeling was delayed because of industry pressure.  

As FSANZ concludes another review of the scheme and the Ministers prepare to again debate the benefits of the proposal, the College will once more appeal to the law-makers to endorse this overdue yet vital initiative. With the estimated 75,000 alcohol-exposed pregnancies in Australia each year, the time for decisive government action on effective pregnancy warnings on alcohol products is long past. 

Over June and July, we will be urging the responsible Ministers to approve the labeling scheme as originally recommended by FSANZ. We ask you to support our effort by engaging with RACP media and social media as we continue to advocate for this indisputable gain for alcohol harm reduction across Australia.

Aotearoa New Zealand – Budget 2020 

On 14 May 2020, the New Zealand Government delivered Budget 2020, Wellbeing Budget: Rebuilding Together. In response, the RACP released two media statements entitled, ‘Doctors say new health funding must prioritise equity’ and ‘Sustained focus on wellbeing essential to support Aotearoa NZ post-COVID-19’.

The first of these releases welcomes the focus and funding in Budget 2020 for the Aotearoa New Zealand health system, including $3.92b over four years for District Health Boards (DHBs) and a one-off boost of $282.5m to address the backlog of elective procedures and hospital appointments. This investment provides an opportunity for equity to be placed at the forefront of decision-making and to improve health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika facing the reality that, in the face of prognostication and health rationing algorithms, they often fare worse in our health system.

As Dr George Laking, Aotearoa New Zealand President said “Right now, health policy is economic policy, it’s social policy and fiscal policy. The investment we make in health as a country will support our social, economic, physical and environmental wellbeing, as Aotearoa recovers and rebuilds through the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The second of these releases focuses on changes made to the social support system and how they influence the social determinants of health – the ‘causes of the causes’ of poor health and wellbeing. The social determinants of health are at the heart of the RACP’s Making It The Norm campaign, which calls for Whānau WellbeingHealthy Housing and Good Work to become the norm in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Laking said that “The Budget places an emphasis, naturally, on jobs and training. The RACP sees work and employment as inextricably linked to housing and whānau wellbeing. We call on the Government to prioritise sustained investment in addressing the social determinants of health. 

“Budget 2020 still only skirts the edges of long-awaited systemic change in social security. We welcome the direction of change but would support the Government going further to support whānau wellbeing.”

This is something that will be ever more important in the continually evolving world of COVID-19 and the resultant economic shock.

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. 

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

Bi-National Training Program (BNTP)

NSW Lecture Series – Wednesday and Saturday sessions

Events and conferences

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.

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

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

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Jane Henderson, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315

AFRM NZ Committee
Executive Officer DFAC’s NZ
AFRM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6350

AFRM oral examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator 
Phone: +61 2 9256 5422

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
Close overlay