The following Communiqué reports on the business addressed at the Adult Medicine Division Planning Day held on Thursday 9 July and the AMD Council meeting held on Friday 10 July 2015.
AMD Planning Day
The AMD Council held its annual planning day to prioritise work for 2016.
Priority areas included expanding the College’s capacity to deliver CPD content and resources through collaboration with Specialty Societies, determining how Specialty Societies and the College can collaborate on workforce data collection and analysis, contributing to sustainable policies on Capacity to Train and Selection Into Training that emphasise quality of training and health care delivery to the community, progressing the EVOLVE initiative and implementing the Model of Collaboration.
The planning session also provided the opportunity for AMD Councillors to consider how the new College Council may affect AMD’s activities.
New AMD Council Members
The AMD Council welcomed the new Specialty Society Representative for the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT), Dr Christina Cameron.
A full list of all current AMD Council members is available on the AMD website.
Special Society Reports
The AMD Council invites Specialty Society Representatives to share information by submitting activity reports to each Council meeting. The AMD Council received reports from the following Specialty Societies:
- Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
- Australian & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine
- Medical Oncology Group of Australia Inc.
- Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
AMD Councillors were asked to consider how an AMD representative should be appointed to the new College Council and determined that applications would be reviewed and selected by the AMD Executive Committee as per other Expressions of Interest, and that the AMD representative should have demonstrated experience in and understanding of AMD governance and College business.
The Council discussed in some detail how to finalise the Model of Collaboration through the extension of consultation on the next draft of the Model to PCHD, the Faculties and the New Zealand Committee and corresponding Specialty Societies. The operational feasibility of the Model was to be tested by senior RACP staff to ensure it is a practical and achievable framework under which Specialty Societies and the College can operate, and to enable a schedule to be drawn up for each Society as to the exact nature of their collaboration with the College. Specialty Society representatives emphasised the need for their Society’s Executive Officers to be involved in the consultation.
Councillors acknowledged the result of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and agreed that Board Governance Reform was still to be pursued however considered that College Members would appreciate a break from messaging about Governance Reform in the wake of the high volume of communications from all parties that had been circulating in the lead up to the EGM.
RACP Workforce Working Party
Council noted that an RACP workforce discussion paper was still in development with a consultation draft to be available in the coming months. The first phase of the introduction of the OSCAR administrative system was due to be implemented in March 2016, and would ensure the College had appropriate systems in place to record member data and establish a platform for longitudinal workforce data capture. Council requested further information on the minimum amount of data the College would be able to share with Specialty Societies and when it would be made available to them with an update to be provided at the next Council meeting. It also agreed that work to identify workforce data capture activity of Specialty Societies should be undertaken to support future collaboration in this area and avoid duplication of effort.
Education and Training
Council received a report from the AMD Education Committee (AMDEC), and canvassed options for ATC appointments to AMDEC to inform AMDEC’s resolution of this aspect of Education Governance Reform. Members also discussed the establishment of two new Education Governance developments, the establishment of an RACP Chief Censor and an RACP Examination Committee.
Opportunities to develop greater capacity for College delivery of continuing professional development (CPD) content and resources was discussed, with Societies keen to collaborate with the College in this area. It was agreed that an AMD Working Group would be convened to inform the development of a proposal for a College-wide integrated CPD system. In the meantime it was reported that the AMD recorded a 97% completion rate for CPD activities in the most recent cycle. A key contributing factor for the AMD completion rate was the introduction of late fees for CPD submissions. A process to follow up with non-compliant Fellows would commence in the near future.
A comprehensive update on activities in Education and Training was provided:
- Council discussed the College’s efforts to establish a sustainable Capacity to Train policy and noted further consultation was expected in the near future, with a policy on Selection into Basic Training also in development.
- The College is preparing to review 39 curricula, ensuring a common approach to specific content for each specialty area. The aim is to implement a pilot scheme of the new Basic Training curriculum and commence the Advanced Training curricula renewal by 2018.
- A report on the College’s progress in meeting AMC/MCNZ recommendations was presented and demonstrated that the College’s overall progress was positive, having met 2015 conditions and already making headway in resolving other recommendations.
The College Dean Prof Richard Doherty informed the Council of recent developments in regulation of specialty recognition in Australia which affect College work being undertaken to resolve the introduction of an FRACP pathway for Addiction Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine. The Ministerial Council governing the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has introduced significant changes to the requirements for recognition of new medical specialties in August 2014, and there is no mechanism to make alterations to existing registered (and legislated) specialties until these changes are implemented by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the AMC. These changes are likely to require the MBA to follow Commonwealth Office of Best Practice Regulation procedures, which require a Regulatory Impact Statement process to be undertaken for any proposed change to legislation. The Council noted these developments and supported the College’s efforts to navigate this complex regulatory environment.
The AMD Council endorsed a proposal from the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee that the College introduce an Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Training Pathway
Policy and Advocacy
An update on Policy and Advocacy activity covered the success of efforts to advocate for refugee and asylum seeker health and challenge the Federal Government’s Border Force Act, and health and climate change with the College’s involvement in the development of the Global Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change. Further updates were received regarding the work of the College Alcohol Working Party’s activity in developing a statement on the harmful effects of alcohol, and efforts to resolve the revision of Guidelines for Ethical Relationships between Health Professionals and Industry. AMD Council again recommended the Guidelines should be substantially edited and reduced in length, and consideration be given to alignment with Medicines Australia’s revised Code of Conduct due to be released in October.
The EVOLVE initiative continues to progress steadily with a promising number of Specialty Societies currently working on their lists of low value interventions. The newly established Integrated Care Working Group reported on its plans for the next twelve months with an ambitious program of work in this complex area of health care. Council was apprised of the development of a position statement on End of Life Care, with a draft statement due for consultation in the near future.
It was noted that the Policy and Advocacy triage process instigated with Specialty Societies continued to be an efficient and effective way of responding to issues and Councillors expressed their respect for the College’s increasing capacity and success in tackling complex issues.
It was reported that the Fellowship Committee had completed its review of College Awards processes and had agreed to streamline awards approval processes with a more comprehensive approvals system. In addition, the review had recommended the establishment of the RACP International Support Medal in order to recognise Fellows’ efforts in international development activities.
AMD Councillors were provided with a report on the reach of the new AMD e-Bulletin format and publication schedule, and agreed that the bulletin should continue to focus on AMD business and that other mechanisms such as the College Noticeboard were appropriate mechanisms for statements expressing individual Member’s views. Members agreed the AMD should continue to facilitate greater involvement from the Specialty Societies in providing content for the e-Bulletin to support sharing of information across different craft groups.
The Council was consulted on planning for the 2016 RACP Congress AMD Program Stream and expressed a clear priority for AMD to deliver clinical updates with useful practice tips in order to share important developments across AMD specialties and improve the care that we provide to all patients.
It was reported that the New Zealand AMD Committee would be reviewing its role within the College at its forthcoming meeting as a result of recent governance reforms, and that it was likely to continue to examine this issue into 2016.
Professor John Wilson,