AMD eBulletin – 11 February 2022
A message from your President
Welcome to a new year!
For many of us the beginning of 2022 feels much the same as 2021 (thanks to COVID-19), despite this, I hope the AMD community can return to some degree of normality this year. I am sure the parents of many school-aged children have breathed a collective sigh of relief as schools begin to reopen their doors and face-to-face learning resumes.
I am keen to understand the impact COVID-19 has had on the rural workforce. It is clear that reliance on the annual intake of junior medical staff from overseas has disproportionately affected rural health services ability to provide care, and the states with lockout restrictions on cross border travel in particular. This situation has not yet returned to any semblance of pre- or post-COVID-19 normality, whatever the latter might look like. In the words of generations of children on a long car trip, "are we there yet?".
The RACP Regional and Rural Physician Working Group has commenced meeting and is working on developing a strategy to support the regional, rural, and remote workforces in our two countries. The work is guided by the vision of “achieving equitable health outcomes for Australians and Aotearoa New Zealanders living in regional and rural locations by prioritising, advocating, and supporting regional and rural workforce and training initiatives”.
Congratulations to the AMD Fellows recognised in the 2022 Australia Day and Aotearoa New Zealand New Year Honours list. I would also like to individually acknowledge Dr Daniel Nour, our AMD Trainee, who was awarded Young Australian of the Year. Dr Nour founded Street Side Medics, a not-for-profit, GP-led mobile medical service for people experiencing homelessness. The full list of AMD recipients is listed later in the eBulletin.
The AMD Executive Committee and AMD Council will meet in February and March respectively to progress the initiatives and goals set out in the AMD Council workplan. We will also see a changeover in the AMD Council membership with the current election period ending in May 2022. For more information on elections please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder to members to visit the AMD Community within the RACP Online Community (ROC). This platform provides a wonderful opportunity to connect and collaborate with your peers.
If you would like to discuss any of the above, I encourage you to reach out to me via the AMD secretariat at email@example.com or on the ROC.
Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division President
AChSHM President’s Post
Welcome back to another year. I hope you have had a restful festive period.
The program for our AChSHM 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is shaping up to be a great mix of presentations from enthusiastic and engaging speakers. The theme of the event is Towards new horizons and highlights include:
- HIV in women
- complex cases
- STI testing and treatment paradigms
- online sexual health and new technology.
The AChSHM ASM 2022 will be a fully virtual experience, and registrations are filling fast. I encourage you to register now to secure your spot.
I am pleased to advise that our Chapter’s RACP Online Community (ROC) has now launched. I hope you have logged into the ROC and have started connecting with other members—both members of our Chapter and the wider College membership (through the ROC Open Forum). The ROC is a secure place for us to share, debate, and network. I look forward to meeting and engaging with members (Fellows and trainees) on the ROC.
The next AChSHM Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, 16 March 2022. If there are any items you would like to raise with the Committee, or if you have any feedback for us, please feel free to contact us through our secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine President
AChPM President’s Post
I hope everyone has had an opportunity to take a break over the summer holiday period or has some leave to look forward to in the near future. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Associate Professor Greg Crawford and Dr Pamela Brawdley Harrison on their Australia Day Awards. Associate Professor Crawford received his award for significant service to palliative care and to tertiary education, and Dr Brawdley Harrison received her award for her service to palliative care, and to community history. Both fantastic achievements!
Thank you to those who have signed up to join the pool of case study and project markers for Advanced Trainees and Clinical Diploma trainees. We are still seeking Chapter Fellows to join the marking panel. Markers can nominate how frequently they wish to receive assessments and periods when they are unable to assist with marking. Fellows can also claim CPD credits for marking assessments. For more information or to obtain an expression of interest form to join the marking panel, please contact PalliativeMedTraining@racp.edu.au. Supervisors are also reminded that they need to review case studies and projects and sign off on the cover sheets prior to submission by the trainee.
The Training Committee in Palliative Medicine (TCPM) is also currently seeking expressions of interest from palliative medicine Fellows who have trained via the FRACP or the FAChPM pathway to join the TCPM. The Committee oversees Advanced Training in Palliative Medicine and the Clinical Diploma in Palliative Medicine. It meets every quarter, with one face-to-face meeting in Sydney and three virtual meetings a year.
Members are appointed for an initial three-year term, with the option to renew a further term.
Please read the Training Committee in Palliative Medicine Terms of Reference (PDF) before applying to further understand the work and objectives of the Committee. I encourage anyone interested to submit their expression of interest before close of business on Monday, 14 February 2022.
Lastly, a reminder that Clinical Diploma trainees commencing in 2022 are required to complete PREP Tools (2 x CbD and 2 x mini-CEX) as part of their training requirements. More information can be found on the Clinical Diploma specialty webpage, alternatively they can contact the Education Officer at PallMedDiploma@racp.edu.au.
Do you have a question for the President or a member of our Committee? We welcome any feedback or comments. Contact us through the Chapter secretariat at PallMed@racp.edu.au.
Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine President
Welcome to a new year. I hope you have had an opportunity to take a break over the Christmas and New Year period.
Our Chapter is looking forward to a busy year, with a focus on delivering priorities identified on our work plan. One of the priorities is a strong focus on policy and advocacy work, such as the development of an RACP drug policy. This work has been led by a joint AChAM/Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine Drug Policy Working Group.
The Chapter is also supporting the development of a joint statement with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) using the existing RANZCP problem gambling and media and digital technology statements.
In January 2022, the Republic of Ireland joined Scotland, Wales, and Australia’s Northern Territory in introducing a minimum unit price (MUP) on alcohol; a cost-effective, evidence-based policy to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol.
The College has long been a strong advocate of MUP, supporting its introduction and fighting for its implementation in the Northern Territory. You can access a fact sheet at the following link click here. We plan to ramp up our campaign for MUP across a number of jurisdictions, in the first place working with our public health and medical partners in Western Australia.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind members that the ROC is a fantastic platform to connect with other members and remain abreast of news and what is happening at the College. I encourage you to post any discussions as you see fit and continue to connect.
Please also note that the following positions are up for election and nominations close on Friday, 11 February 2022:
- Aotearoa New Zealand Branch Member
- Queensland Branch Member
- SA/NT Branch Member
- Trainee Representative
Further information regarding elections can be found here.
The AChAM Committee will next meet on Friday, 25 February 2022 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for me or the Committee, please get in touch through our secretariat at AddictionMed@racp.edu.au.
Professor Nick Lintzeris
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine President
Expressions of Interest (EOIs)
RACP employment opportunity – Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment
The 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.
EOI: AChSHM Exit Assessment Deputy Chief Examiner
The Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) is seeking expressions of interest from AChSHM Fellows to join the role of Deputy Chief Examiner with the view of transitioning to Chief Examiner from 2023 for the AChSHM Exit Assessment.
Deputy Chief Examiner
- Unconditional AHPRA or MCNZ registration as a Sexual Health physician.
- Experience observing or examining at an AChSHM Exit Assessment is desirable but not mandatory.
The term of the position is one year, commencing as the Chief Examiner from 2023 onwards. This position will commence from March 2022. Please click here to find out more.
2022 Aotearoa New Zealand New Year Honours and Australia Day Honours
Congratulations to the 30 RACP Fellows recognised in the 2022 Australia Day and Aotearoa New Zealand New Year Honours list. These awards highlight the outstanding work RACP members do and the importance of that work in local, national, and international communities.
Aotearoa New Zealand
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
Young Australian of the Year
Member (AO) in the General Division
Member (AM) in the General Division
- Professor Gregory Brian Crawford FAChPM (AChPM) – for significant service to palliative care, and to tertiary education.
- Associate Professor Leeanne Grigg FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to cardiology, and to professional societies.
- Dr Richard Wayman Harper FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to cardiology, to medical research, and to professional associations.
- Dr Geoffrey Kenneth Herkes FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to medicine as a neurologist, to medical research, and to professional associations.
- Professor Mark Stephen Hertzberg FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to haematology, to tertiary education, and to research.
- Professor Prudence Ann Francis FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to medical research in the field of oncology, and to education.
- Professor William Frederic Heddle RFD (Retd) FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to cardiology, to tertiary education, and to professional associations.
- Professor Barbara Anne Leggett FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to gastroenterology and hepatology, and to medical research.
- Professor Peter Thomas Morley FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to intensive care medicine, to professional societies, and to tertiary education.
- Professor Bronwyn Gwenneth Stuckey FRACP (AMD) – for significant service to medical research, to endocrinology, and to women's health.
Medal (OAM) in the General Division
- Dr Peter Daniel Braude FRACP (AMD) – for service to medicine as a physician.
- Dr Robert Leslie Edwards FRACP (AMD) – for service to medicine as a thoracic physician.
- Dr Peter Gianoutsos FRACP (AMD) – for service to medicine as a respiratory physician.
- Dr Pamela Brawdley Harrison FAChPM (AChPM) – for service to palliative care, and to community history.
- Professor Elizabeth Anne McCusker FRACP (AMD) – for service to medicine as a neurologist, particularly in the field of Huntington's disease.
- Professor Helge Hans Rasmussen FRACP (AMD) – for service to medicine as a cardiologist.
Public Service Medal
- Professor Dominic Edmund Dwyer FRACP (AMD - NSW) – for outstanding public service as an infectious disease expert and public health advisor in New South Wales.
COVID-19 Honour Roll
- Professor Dominic Edmund Dwyer FRACP (AMD)
Obituary for Associate Professor James D’Rozario
The RACP pays its deepest respects to the late Clinical Associate Professor James D’Rozario and who passed away on 27 January 2022. James was a haematologist consultant, and completed his training and become a Fellow of the RACP in 2000. His contributions across trainee examinations, supervision, and accreditation, have been invaluable for the College and its trainees.
James was an exceptional Educational Supervisor for Basic and Advanced Trainees at RACP since 2009. As an accreditor and member of the Adult Medicine Accreditation Subcommittee from 2017 to 2019. He conducted site visits and provided advice and expertise to colleagues and executives across many RACP-accredited hospitals, and advised on how to support a collegial training environment for RACP trainees.
James had been a member of the National/Senior Examining panel since 2012. As a National Examiner, he was actively involved in calibrating local examiners, examining trainees, and providing post-exam feedback to trainees. He was a member of the Adult Medicine Clinical Examination Committee in the role of State Coordinator for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) since 2019. In his roles as a Regional Examiner from 2010 to 2012 - and even in his capacity as a National Examiner - he greatly assisted College staff with the planning of clinical examinations within the ACT. James worked as part of the Clinical Examination Committee (CEC) to support the development of alternative models for exam delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and his contribution to this process is greatly appreciated.
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. ATSRs 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 credits 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 Aotearoa New Zealand practitioners.
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.
RACP: Internal Medicine Journal
The January 2022 issue (vol 52 issue 01) of the Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) is available on the RACP website.
Key highlights from the issue are:
- Thyroid eye disease
- Mobile applications for chronic physical conditions
- Echocardiography update
- Chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer
- Varicella zoster virus and central nervous system infection
- Cough syncope: fatal distraction?
This month’s Editor's Choice is an Original Article titled Effect of donor age on adult unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant outcome: the Australian experience.
Please note that articles tweeted on the IMJ Twitter page are freely accessible for a limited time.
AChSHM Exit Assessment: Applications open from 2 May 2022
We are pleased to advise applications will be open from 2 May for all eligible trainees (who have met the training program requirements) for the August 2022 Exit Assessment.
The upcoming 2022 AChSHM Exit Assessment will be held on Friday, 12 August 2022. Applications will be open from 3 May 2021 and will close on 13 May 2022 at 5pm (AEST). Any applications received after this closing time may not be accepted.
More details about the exam, including key dates, venue, format and contingency plans will be made available on our website closer to applications opening.
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.
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 demonstration videos of short and long cases.
90 days until RACP Congress 2022
With only 90 days until RACP Congress 2022, more session details have been announced and speakers confirmed. Join us for a must-see session on the Impact of the pandemic on the health of Australians. This session aims to address three key areas:
- Impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening and delayed diagnosis
- Delaying surgery and how this impacts the health of patients
- Mental health and wellbeing and its impact on the overall health of Australians.
This year the prestigious Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Oration is being delivered by Dr Arnagretta Hunter a physician and cardiologist, and a member of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA). Professor Fay Johnson will share her expertise about the health impacts of air quality, such as bushfire smoke and pollen in the Cottrell Memorial lecture.
There are also plenty of engaging shared sessions that should not be missed. Sessions include:
- 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 full RACP Congress 2022 program on the Congress Website.
Have you registered for the AMD Dinner? Make sure to secure your place when you register for Congress.
Trainee sessions announced
As part of the RACP Congress program, the CPC is pleased to announce some special sessions designed specifically 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.
Fellows, 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.
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.
Towards new horizons, a one-day event coming to you in March from the AChSHM
The Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) ASM, is only a few weeks away. Exploring the theme ‘AChSHM ASM 2022: Towards new horizons’, this virtual event will explore sessions on:
- HIV in women
- Complex cases
- STI testing and treatment paradigms
- Online sexual health and new technology.
AChSHM trainees are encouraged to attend the Chapter’s seventh Advanced Trainees’ Meeting (ATM), being held online the day before the ASM on Friday, 18 March 2022 via Zoom.
AMD President's idea could change COVID-19 prevention as we know it
AMD President, Professor Don Campbell, said he had a "crazy idea" that the blood-thinning drug heparin could stop the COVID-19 virus growing in cells and help prevent transmission.
Nearly two years later, the treatment has received $4.2 million from the Victorian government to undergo clinical trials. If the clinical trials are successful, heparin administered as a nasal spray could be commonplace by the end of the 2022.
The project has been made possible by a collaboration between basic scientists, clinical scientists, and clinicians, and shows the strength of Australia’s medical science research capabilities. It has further been helped by professional and personal relationships built by Professor Don Campbell throughout his career, and he encourages members to fully utilise the College’s networking opportunities. Read more.
Digital health assistance from CESPHN
Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network (CESPHN), an Australian government initiative, is now offering your practice assistance with digital health.
This service to Specialist Practices is an extension to the service already delivered to over 16,000 providers across General Practice, Pharmacies, Allied Health and Aged Care providers in the region and it is free of charge.
Digital Health can be the point of difference in enabling easier, faster, secure sharing and access to patient information, resulting in a more efficient, integrated healthcare system.
Some of the services to support you include:
- Provider Digital Access (PRODA)
- Secure messaging
- My Health Record
- Electronic prescriptions
- ePathology ordering
My Health Record
The My Health Record system is now able to upload Specialist Letters via clinical software providers. It can be accessed in two ways through:
- Conformant clinical software – further details listed here
- The National Provider Portal – further details are listed here
The main benefits of connecting to My Health Record – for medical specialist practices in surgery includes access to:
- Medicines view
- Medicare document
- Shared health summary
- Discharge summaries
- Diagnostic imaging
The Digital Health Specialist Toolkit developed in support of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM), and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) has been especially designed to assist with specialist connections to an array of digital health initiatives.
NASH PKI certificates expiring and Medicare Web Services changes
Services Australia is upgrading their digital health systems to ensure patient and provider information is secure, stable and up to date with industry standard technology.
These changes will have an impact on healthcare provider organisations in two main ways:
- Accessing digital health services such as the My Health Record, Electronic Prescribing, Secure Messaging and the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) service
- Claiming channels – for Medicare Online (including AIR and DVA), Electronic Claim Lodgement and Information Processing Service Environment (ECLIPSE), Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Online and Aged Care Online / Web Services
All healthcare provider organisations will be required to renew their NASH PKI certificates and transition their web services to PRODA by Sunday, 13 March 2022.
To understand how we can support you further please contact Bradley on 02 9304 8684 / email@example.com, Chelsea on 0427 277 575 / firstname.lastname@example.org 02 9304 8717 / email@example.com. Please Note: If you are not in the Central and Eastern Sydney region, please contact your respective PHN.
Postgraduate Research Scholarships in Practice Analytics
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: Deciding with children (ep. 77)
Episode 77: Deciding with children
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?
- 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 Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, 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.
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:
- Boosting the COVID-19 response, recovery, and pandemic preparedness for future communicable diseases
- Delivering integrated and innovative healthcare to improve access and quality of care
- Building an appropriately funded and safe medical specialist workforce
- Closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
- Prioritising the health and wellbeing of children and young people and their recovery from the setbacks of COVID-19
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
2021 Medical Training Survey highlights efforts of RACP educators
The RACP welcomes the release of the results of the Medical Board of Australia’s third annual Medical Training Survey (MTS). The survey was run throughout August and September 2021 and was open to all doctors in training in Australia. The survey was completed by 3415 RACP trainees (approximately 43 per cent response rate).
The RACP results are generally consistent with previous years, including favourable results in key areas of medical training. Approximately 80 per cent of RACP respondents reported they would recommend their current training position to other doctors and their current workplace as a place to train. Clinical supervision was rated highly, with 87 per cent of RACP trainees considering it to be of excellent or good quality. These results are on par with the 2020 findings, and the sustained positive results in these areas represent a significant achievement in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected medical training in the states and territories worst hit by the pandemic and had a mixed impact in other regions, with an overall 44% of RACP trainees reporting a negative impact.
Despite substantial disruptions to examinations throughout 2021, we were pleased that survey results improved in most areas related to examinations. Overall, however, there is still room for improvement and we will continue to progress this critical work.
The concerningly high prevalence of bullying, harassment, and discrimination reported in previous years was sustained in 2021, with over 1 in 5 RACP trainees reporting they had experienced it and 1 in 3 reporting they had witnessed it. Doctors continue to be identified as the main perpetrators. In late 2021, the RACP convened the Safe Training Environments Summit, which commenced development of a strategic approach to tackling bullying, harassment, and discrimination in physician training environments.
Over the coming months, the MTS results will be considered by the RACP Board and key committees with a view to developing an action plan based on the findings. We wish to thank our trainees for providing their valuable feedback and encourage trainees’ continually strong participation in this survey.
All MTS results are available online through the data dashboard published on the Medical Training Survey website.
The Medical Board of Australia encourages everyone interested in medical training to access and read the MTS results, create their own tailored report using the interactive data dashboard, and apply the rich MTS dataset to continually improve medical training.
The February 2022 edition of Australian Prescriber, an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on drugs and therapeutics for health professionals is out now.
The latest edition includes articles on:
- Smoking cessation pharmacotherapy
- Management of chronic non-cancer pain
- Cluster headache in adults
Read the full issue.
ANZSBT Research Fund now open for 2022
The Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) is excited to announce that applications for the 2022 ANZSBT Research Grant are now open. This year the Society is offering a total of $75,000, comprising either a single grant of $75,000 or smaller grants totaling $75,000.
The Research Fund invitation and Terms of Reference as well as the application form can be found on the ANZSBT website under the ANZSBT Research Fund tab.
The closing date for applications will be on Sunday, 27 March 2022.
Conferences and Events
The RACP 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.
Brave New Normal World: COVID-19 where to from here?
Join us for ‘Brave New Normal World’ – an interactive and informative online event for all RACP members nationally - on Saturday, 19 February 2022 10am to 12pm (AEDT).
Hosted by Dr David Crocker, the session brings together public health and occupational physicians with a focus on healthcare and other workplaces, relevant personnel and the broader community.
What may be expected and required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 and beyond will be canvassed and open for discussion.
Our presenters invite your questions at registration and during the interactive panel discussion which will be held during the session.
Brought to you by the AFOEM NSW Regional Committee - it’s online, it's free, and you can earn CPD credits.
To register for the webinar or find out more, visit Brave New Normal World.
RACP Te Rā o Ngā Tauira Mahi o Aotearoa Niu Tīrani | Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day 2022
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
Appraisal by the Medical Services Advisory Committee
Scheduled agenda items for the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Meeting 31 March to 1 April 2022.
Application 1354.1 – Intravascular ultrasound guided coronary stent insertion
Application 1613 – Permanent acute coronary syndrome event detector (insertion, removal or replacement of) – for monitoring of the heart's electrical activity
Application 1614.1 - Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound – for the treatment of medically refractory essential tremor
Application 1646 – Whole genome sequencing of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens
Application 1669 – KRAS G12C variant testing to determine eligibility – for PBS-subsidised sotorasib second-line therapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non small cell lung cancer
Application 1673 – Single operator, single use, peroral cholangiopancreatoscopy – for diagnosis of indeterminate biliary strictures and removal of difficult biliary stones
Application 1678 - Integrating practice pharmacists into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (The IPAC Project)
Application 1679 – Improved medication management – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Feasibility Study (IMeRSe Feasibility Study)
Application 1695 – Procedures – for the implantation and refill-exchange of the Port Delivery System with ranibizumab to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration
Application 1699 - National Lung Cancer Screening Program
MSAC values consultation input from individuals and organisations with an interest in an application that it is considering, including experience of the medical conditions, services or technologies being addressed by the application.
It is anticipated that the above-mentioned applications will proceed to MSAC in March/April 2022.
Consultation input must be received by no later than Friday, 11 February 2022 for it to be considered by MSAC at its March/April 2022 meeting. A Consultation Survey Form is available on the relevant application webpage. Further information on MSAC’s consultation process is also available on the MSAC website.
For more information about MSAC, including how to apply, please refer to the MSAC website or contact the Health Technology Assessment Access Point via:
MSAC website: www.msac.gov.au
View career opportunities on the RACP website.