AMD eBulletin 7 February 2020

President's Post

Ethical lessons from the Australian bushfire disaster

The disastrous effects of the Australian bushfires have caused great pain but have also taught us some critical lessons. The damage has been unimaginable: over three months more than 11 million hectares of forest have been burnt, nearly three dozen lives have been lost, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed and about a billion animals have been killed. In addition to the suffering, loss of life and property damage, the entire country has experienced massive disruption to infrastructure and the economy, and unprecedented levels of air pollution.

The sheer extent and ferocity of the fires has been extraordinary. Never before has a large part of an entire continent gone up in flames. However, it is the nature of the fires that has been so truly terrifying. With gale force winds, fire tornadoes, megafires producing their own thunder and lightning, they have behaved unlike any previous bushfires, ruthlessly annihilating everything in their paths.

The national trauma has provoked vigorous reflection and debate, along with some anger and recriminations, about the causes, mistakes and omissions that gave rise to the catastrophe, including the failed policies of successive Federal Governments – with a possible brief interlude between 2011 and 2013 when the Clean Energy package was introduced. Despite mounting awareness of the effects of climate change over many years, both major political parties maintain their support for coal mining, which implicitly denies the clear scientific consensus that we need to rapidly move away from use of fossil fuels. At the COP25 meeting in Madrid and elsewhere Australia has repeatedly joined with the United States to prevent any meaningful outcome. Opportunities to build an alternative, forward-looking sustainable energy industry have been ignored.

These positions have been justified on the basis that Australia’s contribution to global warming is small compared to those of China and the United States. This ignores the fact that while Australia releases 1.3 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases, this is more than four times its share of the world population. More importantly, however, the scale of the present destruction has itself generated a profound boost to planetary carbon emissions with its consequences for human health. The RACP has repeatedly, over many years, drawn attention to the health risks associated with climate change, most of which continue to be ignored by public authorities. 

In this time of despair and sadness some glimmers of hope have emerged. As a nation we have learnt some strong ethical lessons that hopefully will help support a future, more constructive set of policies. The first is the most positive. It is that the strength and resilience of communities remains intact. The heroism of voluntary firefighters, the countless stories of generosity, kindness and love, have inspired awe. Australians have watched with gratitude and admiration as overseas firefighters, mainly from the United States, have arrived on our shores and moved resolutely to take up posts in disaster areas. Shopkeepers have opened their doors to victims in country areas, and passers-by have donated whatever skills they have to provide care for those suffering around them. Many physicians have contributed to this response, magnanimously and courageously, and it is appropriate to acknowledge and express gratitude for their contribution.

Community support for strong action on climate change mitigation as well as adaptation has also been reflected in the commitment of many local and some state governments across the political spectrum for more ambitious targets.

The second lesson is that we need to trust those with genuine expertise and knowledge. Scientists have been warning us about the mounting dangers of climate change for nearly 50 years. Australian Indigenous communities had effectively managed the environment, using sophisticated conservation techniques, for thousands of years before colonisation. We know now that both the ancient and modern knowledge has to be taken seriously if we are to avert an even more terrible disaster than the present one.

Lesson three is perhaps the most fundamental: it is the key realisation that we need to move from an assumption that the natural environment can be exploited and expended without limit to an understanding that we are no more than its custodians, with the responsibility to preserve it for future generations. The long tradition of the ruthless destruction of nature, driven by greed, money and power, has to be replaced by a new ethic of nurture, sustainability, and respect – that is, exactly the ethic embodied in the community response and exemplified by the Indigenous and scientific cultures.

These lessons highlight the challenge we now confront. We face the question of how we – not just as a single nation but as a world community – can move forward to avert the translation of what we in Australia are experiencing today onto a global scale. How can we reconstruct our institutions to mobilise the ethical insights above and discharge our responsibility to the generations to come?

Many Australians hope that the vision of our continent aflame may stimulate people elsewhere in the world to do whatever is possible to prevent further, future such catastrophes. We must agree to limitations on emissions, to a transition to renewable energy generation, responsible resource management and effective conservation practices, and to a reliance on the knowledge of Indigenous cultures and scientific research. These are views that the RACP has long supported and promoted in the community.

Perhaps the ultimate lesson is one we have taken too long to learn: in the age of globalisation no continent ‘is an island entire of itself’. The bell is tolling for all of us; this time we must take heed.

This post is part of a larger article written for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. As always, feedback on the Presidential Posts is welcomed. Please send comments to: 

Paul Komesaroff
President
Adult Medicine Division
Telephone: +61 2 9256 5444
Email: adult.med@racp.edu.au

We wish candidates taking the Divisional Written Exam on Monday, 17 February all the best.

AChSHM President’s Post

On behalf of the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) Organising Committee, we are excited to announce that we will have an international speaker presenting at this year’s ASM, which will be held at the RACP in Sydney on Saturday, 21 March 2020.

Dr Mark Pakianathan is a Consultant Physician in Sexual Health & HIV Medicine in the UK with a special interest in the sexual health of gay men and young people. Dr Pakianathan has transformed pathways for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men attending sexual health clinics, by enabling the development of an integrated drugs and sexual health service for this population. He also pioneered 'Talking about chemsex', a chemsex communication training program which has been replicated for training healthcare workers across Europe at the biennial European Chemsex Forum. He has published research linking chemsex to risk behaviours, STIs and HIV. For his Master of Public Health thesis, Dr Pakianathan completed a qualitative research study on chemsex recovery experiences which provided valuable insights into factors that lead to recovery seeking and how individuals maintain their recovery goals in relation to chemsex.

Mark Pakianathan 

Gilead Sciences will be supporting Dr Pakianathan to speak at the ASM.

Gilead logo

To view the full program and register please visit the ASM website.

The Chapter Committee will next meet on Tuesday, 3 March 2020 via videoconference. We are interested to hear your feedback about what you think the Committee’s policy and advocacy priorities should include. You can email the Committee through our secretariat with your ideas at shmed@racp.edu.au.

Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor
President
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

AChPM President’s Post

The Chapter is excited to announce that we will be holding a Spirituality Workshop on Thursday, 23 to Friday, 24 April 2020 at the RACP in Sydney. This one and a half day workshop on the spiritual dimensions of palliative care has been designed for Advanced Trainees in palliative medicine, but is also suitable for any health professionals interested in the spiritual care of their patients. Register now as places are limited.

I met with Dr Meredith Craigie, Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine within the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, on 13 January to discuss improving education on opioid prescribing in end of life care patients. I will meet with Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the RACGP, next week to discuss the same matter. The Chapter Committee is committed to advocating for appropriate pain relief in palliative care patients.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Chapter Fellows recognised in the 2020 Australia Day Honours. Dr Frank Brennan has been appointed as Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his significant service to palliative medicine and to medical education. Dr Kim Frances Rooney has been awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for her service to medicine. Congratulations Frank and Kim.

The Training Committee in Palliative Medicine is seeking Chapter Fellows to join the pool of case study and project markers for Advanced Trainees and Clinical Diploma trainees. Markers can nominate how frequently they wish to receive assessments and periods when they are unable to assist with marking. Fellows can claim Continuing Professional Development credits for marking assessments. For more information or to obtain an expression of interest form, please contact PalliativeMedTraining@racp.edu.au.

The Chapter Committee has recently published its Communique on the RACP website and will next meet on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 via videoconference.

If you have any feedback or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us through the Chapter secretariat at PallMed@racp.edu.au.

Professor Greg Crawford
President
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChAM President’s Post

On 17 December 2019, I met with Northern Territory Minister for Health, the Hon Natasha Fyles, to discuss the implementation of real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) of targeted high-risk medications in the state.

As Chapter members will know, most state and territory governments in Australia are considering the introduction of, or have already introduced, RTPM technology. The Chapter Committee is concerned that the effectiveness of RTPM relies on wider service planning and resourcing, and without this there is potential for its introduction to lead to unintended consequences, such as the diversion of patients away from prescription medicines toward illicit drugs and access barriers for those patients with medical needs, in particular patients with opioid dependence.

In February, I will meet with the South Australian Minister for Health and the Senior Advisor to the ACT Minister of Health to discuss this matter. We have sought meetings with all state and territory ministers on this important issue, and we will continue to advocate for improved service planning and resources.

The AChAM Committee will next meet on Thursday, 2 April 2020 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at AddictionMed@racp.edu.au.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
President
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Important message for Australian members

The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be publishing an advance copy of the revised mandatory notification guidelines and supporting resources.

The Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered health practitioners and Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered students provide information about how to meet mandatory notification requirements. The guidelines aim to help practitioners, employers and education providers understand who must make a mandatory notification about a registered health practitioner or registered student and when.

Summary of changes

The guidelines were revised following amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law passed early in 2019 and expected to commence in early March 2020. 

The amendments changed the reporting obligations for treating practitioners by establishing a new, higher risk threshold for treating practitioners to report impairment, intoxication or practice that significantly departs from accepted standards. This further limits the circumstances for treating practitioners to make mandatory notifications. These changes aim to give practitioners confidence to seek help for health conditions if they need it, while continuing to prevent the risk of harm to the public. 

The requirement to make a mandatory notification about a practitioner is different for different notifier groups. For that reason, the guidelines about practitioners have been structured according to notifier type (that is treating practitioner, non-treating practitioner, employer) so that relevant information for that notifier group is easier to find.

As there are only limited circumstances when a mandatory notification can be made about a student, separate guidelines for notifications about students and practitioners have been developed.

You can find information and resources such as case studies and FAQs on the AHPRA website.

Australia Day Honours 2020

Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Professor Bruce Gregory Robinson AM, FRACP (AMD)
    For eminent service to medical research, and to national healthcare, through policy development and reform, and to tertiary education.

Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Professor Rachelle Buchbinder FRACP (AMD)
    For distinguished service to medical education in the fields of epidemiology and rheumatology, and to professional associations.
  • Professor Robert John Simes FRACP (AMD)
    For distinguished service to education, and to medicine, in the field of cancer research and clinical trials.
  • Professor Jeffrey David Zajac FRACP (AMD)
    For distinguished service to medical research and education, particularly in the field of endocrinology, and to professional societies.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Dr Frank Patrick Brennan FRACP, FAChPM (AMD & AChPM)
    For significant service to palliative medicine, and to medical education.
  • Emeritus Professor Brendan Crotty FRACP (AMD)
    For significant service to health education, and to the community.
  • Dr Paul Elias Eliadis FRACP (AMD)
    For significant service to medicine as a clinical haematologist, and to charitable initiatives.
  • Dr Sanghamitra (Mitra) Guha FRACP (AMD)
    For significant service to medicine, and to medical education.
  • Dr Anthony (Tony) Leigh Mylius FRACP (AMD)
    For significant service to community health, and to cardiology.
  • Dr John Dominic Santamaria FRACP(AMD)
    For significant service to intensive care medicine.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

  • Dr Hazel Fern Goldberg FRACP (AMD)
    For service to respiratory medicine.
  • Dr Sadanand Limaye FRACP (AMD)
    For service to medicine, and to the multicultural community.
  • Dr Meng Chong Ngu FRACP (AMD)
    For service to medicine in the fields of gastroenterology and hepatology.
  • Dr Kim Frances Rooney FRACP, FAChPM (AMD & AChPM)
    For service to medicine.
  • Dr John Milton Wettenhall FRACP (AMD)
    For service to the international community through water, sanitation and medical programs.
Congress 2020 banner

The AMD stream at Congress 2020

You’re invited to one of the premier annual events on the RACP calendar, Congress 2020: Balancing medical science with humanity. Held on Monday, 4 to Wednesday, 6 May in Melbourne, we’ve developed an immense program filled with a diverse range of local and international speakers.

There is a dedicated AMD stream which will explore:

  • Heart disease across the lifespan
  • Support of adults with disabilities – Health reform, consumers and clinicians
  • Technology at point of care.

You will also have an opportunity to participate in the AMD Research and Quality in the Spotlight Session. This allows you to showcase your research and learn how to take your research to the next level. To take part in this session please submit your abstracts of the poster prizes now.

This is a unique networking opportunity for you to meet members of the Division, as well as members from the broader College, while learning about a diverse range of clinical and public health topics. For more information and to register, visit the Congress website. Hurry, early-bird rates available until 3 March 2020.

Register now

The Australian bushfires

As the bushfires and hot weather continue, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster. Your College released a media statement on the bushfires on 11 January 2020 and we recognise that the full extent of the health impacts are not yet known.

We’ve had many members contacting us to ask how they can help. We encourage members who can assist to contact the relevant rural doctors’ organisation coordinating your state’s health workforce response.

For more information, please visit these websites: 

Trainee re-registrations due

A reminder that registrations for Basic and Advanced Trainees for the Australian 2020 clinical year are now open:

Please note the deadline for Advanced Training applications has been extended to Sunday, 1 March 2020 due to unexpected delays in processing 2019 Supervisor’s Reports and 2020 applications.

As a trainee, you must re-register your training annually.

New Zealand registrations have now closed.

For more information check your relevant handbook or contact us.

What’s happening in the new Basic Training programs

Early adopters

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the second group to adopt the new Basic Training program.

Early adopters are training settings who are working with the RACP to lead the rollout of the new Basic Training programs. The purpose of early adopter implementation is to:

  • test the new training program
  • test supporting materials and activities 
  • develop a network of change champions.

We will be working with the following settings:

2020
Lead Setting(s) Affiliated training settings Phase(s) of training
Gold Coast University Hospital
(Adult Medicine)
Robina Hospital
Innisfail Hospital
Foundation (BPT1)
The Townsville Hospital
(Adult Medicine)
N/A Foundation (BPT1)
Starship Children’s Hospital
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Middlemore
Waitakere Hospital
Whangarei Hospital
Foundation (BPT1)
Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation (BPT1)
2021
Lead Setting(s) Affiliated training settings Phase(s) of training
Box Hill Hospital
(Adult Medicine)
Angliss Hospital
Epworth Eastern Private Hospital
Latrobe Regional Health
Maroondah Hospital
Peter James Centre
Wantirna Health
Foundation (BPT1)
Consolidation (BPT2)
Dunedin Hospital
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
N/A Foundation (BPT1)
Consolidation (BPT2)
Queensland Paediatric Training Network
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
Queensland Children's Hospital
Gold Coast University Hospital
The Townsville Hospital
Bundaberg Hospital
Caboolture Hospital
Cairns Hospital
Hervey Bay Hospital
Ipswich Hospital
Logan Hospital
Mackay Base Hospital
Redcliffe Hospital
Redland Hospital
Rockhampton Hospital
Sunshine Coast University Hospital
The Prince Charles Hospital
The Royal Darwin Hospital
Toowoomba Hospital
Foundation (BPT1)
Royal Hobart Hospital
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
Launceston General Hospital
North West Regional Hospital
Foundation (BPT1)
Taranaki Base Hospital
(Paediatrics & Child Health)
N/A Foundation (BPT1)
Waikato Hospital
(Adult Medicine)
N/A Foundation (BPT1)
Consolidation (BPT2)
Sunshine and Footscray Hospitals
(Adult Medicine)
Albury Wodonga Health
Ballarat Hospital
Williamstown Hospital
Foundation (BPT1)
Consolidation (BPT2)

Please contact us if you would like more information.

Congratulations AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Dr Ei Thu Aung, the recipient of the 2020 AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship for her project ‘Novel approaches to control of syphilis’.

Dr Ei Thu Aung is a sexual health medicine physician and a general practitioner, with a strong interest in clinical epidemiology and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. She graduated from medical school at the University of Auckland and subsequently undertook dual training in general practice and sexual health medicine in Australia. Her PhD research with Monash University focuses on control of syphilis, particularly assessing the novel strategies for early detection of infectious syphilis.

AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting

Educational Development (Study) Grants

Applications are opening soon for 2020 RACP Educational Development (Study) Grants worth up to $10,000.

Awards available for this round include:

  • Richard Kemp Memorial Fellowship
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Educational Development Grant
  • Queensland Regional Committee Educational Development Grant.

Submit your applications online from Friday, 21 February to Monday, 23 March 2020. Information about this award including eligibility criteria and the link to the online application form is available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops

We are happy to announce that the College Education Committee has extended the time limit for supervisors to complete all three Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops.

To continue to supervise trainees in an RACP accredited position supervisors will need to complete:

  • one SPDP workshop by the end of 2020
  • all remaining workshops by the end of 2022.

There will be additional SPDP workshops across 2020 and more are added regularly. We recommend you book your next workshop as soon as possible.

Please note that you can still complete all workshops by the end of 2020 if you wish.

The College Education Committee has also approved a review of the Educational Leadership and Supervision Framework along with a change of title for supervisors who have met the supervisor training requirements.

Supervisors who have completed all three SPDP workshops will now be referred to as RACP approved supervisors, previously accredited supervisors.

You will still need to complete all your remaining workshops by the end of 2022 as only approved supervisors will be able to supervise trainees in RACP accredited settings/positions from 2023.

Please note you may be eligible for exemption from SPDP 1 and 2. Find out more on the RACP website.

If you have any questions about the information above or need assistance in booking an SPDP workshop, please contact the Supervisor Learning Support Team on supervisor@racp.edu.au.

Quality and safety resources for members

Quality and safety is central to the delivery of healthcare in Australia and New Zealand. We offer a number of resources to help you create a culture of quality and safety in your healthcare setting. Register for the Quality and Safety online course to learn about developing a preventative mindset and identifying and remediating situations where the quality and safety of patient care may be compromised. Refer to the Quality and Safety Curated Collection for a peer-reviewed list of high quality resources on the topic. Or to learn about strategies for communicating effectively with patients about the risks and benefits of treatment options, enrol in the Communicating Risks and Benefits online course.

RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

IMS banner

The Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium

Register for the Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS), on 'Providing care to underserved populations'. The symposium will be held on Friday, 20 March 2020 at the Amora Hotel in Sydney.

This annual event provides a great opportunity to share the latest insights in higher medical education. The program will explore how best to train, prepare and retain medical specialists to care for underserved populations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada due to isolation, geographical location or many other social determinants and how innovative technologies can enhance their access to healthcare.

Keynote speakers include Professor Roger Strasser, formerly Dean of the Northern Ontario School, of Medicine, an expert renowned for promoting the importance of socially accountable medical education to serve communities and Dr Lisa Richardson, Faculty of Medicine Strategic Advisor, Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, an expert in urban underserved populations in Canada. Professor Diane Sarfati, a public health physician and cancer epidemiologist from the University of Otago with expertise in the area of ethnic disparities in disease outcomes and Dr Belinda O’Sullivan, a researcher leading international scale studies on rural health systems, from the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School will provide the other keynote presentations.

Other sessions will provide interesting insights into education and training to support access to care from Associate Professor Elana Curtis, a Public Health Physician from the University of Auckland. The Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Rural Surgery Section Committee, Dr Bridget Clancy, an ENT surgeon based in rural Victoria, will also provide interesting perspectives on meeting the challenges of practice for rural and underserved populations.  

More information is available on the IMS website.

The member colleges of the Tri-Nation Alliance are the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

IMJ January 2020 issue available online

The January edition of the Internal Medicine Journal is available. The Editor's Choice is an original article titled ‘Are GPs getting the information they need from hospitals & specialists to provide quality cancer care for Indigenous Australians?’

Key highlights from the issue include:

  • Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC)
  • Current approach to eating disorders
  • Evidence-poor medicine
  • Palliative care close to home in the regions
  • Emergency presentations of patients with hypothermia
  • Diabetes care: psychosocial well-being in young adults.

Read now

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep55: Starting out in practice

This podcast is about one of many pathways in medicine; private practice. It’s a pathway that presents many opportunities, but also personal and financial challenges. When doctors are starting out in private practice, they typically do so within the safety net of an established practice, and perhaps only for part of the working week. In a simple model, they would be renting a room in exchange for an agreed portion of the consultation fees to cover administration costs.

The next level of complexity is setting up shop for one's self, and this requires registering a company in order to employ other staff. Finally, one can partner in a group practice, which may bring efficiencies of scale, but potentially also personality clashes with other shareholders.

And behind all of this, there is the need to build awareness and trust among the patient community. In this podcast we hear the experiences of a private rheumatologist practising for 25 years, as well as learning about accounting and financial planning. 

Guests

  • Dr Louis McGuigan FRACP, Consultant Rheumatologist, Miranda
  • Paul Copeland, Director, William Buck Chartered Accountants
  • Scott Montefiore, Managing Director Hillross Montefiore and Co.

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

Evolve case studies

Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand case study

Hugh is a 48 year old male plumber, ex-smoker with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He takes Spiriva inhaler regularly and a Venotilin inhaler as required. For 10 days he has had a bad head cold with runny nose and sore throat, followed by a hacking cough and shortness of breath on exertion. Does Hugh have a viral/cough-induced costochronditis or does he have acute pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) with clots passing to his lungs? Download the RACP Evolve | Choosing Wisely Australia | Internal Medicine Society of Australia & New Zealand case study to learn what investigations can be used for PTE.

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases case study

Rosie is two and a half years old, born at term, immunised with no regular medications, and has started day-care recently. For 24 hours she has had a runny nose, a cough, is miserable and has no appetite. Rosie’s parents want her to take something to make her better soon. Download the RACP Evolve | Choosing Wisely Australia | Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases case study to find out the appropriate and inappropriate management options.

Improving clinical case management, infection prevention and control of clostridioides difficile infection

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care supports health service organisations in implementing effective infection prevention and control strategies to reduce the risk of patients acquiring preventable healthcare-associated infections. In 2016, the Commission established a Community of Practice to investigate what future measures would support maintaining low rates of clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in Australia. The Commission continues to monitor the prevalence of CDI in Australian public hospitals annually and has recently published the Clostridium difficile 2017 Data Snapshot Report along with an associated infographic. The Community of Practice also made several recommendations relating to the surveillance and management of CDI in Australia which can be found in the 2018 Technical Report: A Model to Improve Prevention  and Control of  Clostridium Difficile Infection in Australia.

Taking further action on outdoor alcohol advertising

Alcohol is one of the most harmful yet most heavily promoted products in the world. Evidence clearly shows that young peoples' exposure to alcohol marketing increases their alcohol consumption, as well as the risk of starting drinking at a younger age. The World Health Organization recommends bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion to reduce alcohol use and harm.

Market research indicates that 92.6 per cent of consumers are exposed to outdoor advertising at least once per day, and that three out of five shoppers are influenced by outdoor marketing immediately prior to shopping. This form of marketing is extremely influential and therefore acutely harmful, especially for young people. 

As highlighted in the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education’s (FARE) Snapshot of the current state of play, most Australian jurisdictions have introduced some controls on outdoor alcohol advertising. While these restrictions work to limit exposure, they are not comprehensive enough to prevent children and young people from viewing all outdoor alcohol advertising.

Current restrictions need to be strengthened by legislating bans or more comprehensive restrictions and introducing sanctions and monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. The RACP’s Alcohol Policy supports the three options proposed by FARE to remedy this policy shortcoming:

  • Ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and sponsorship across the jurisdiction
  • Ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and ban on sponsorship at all family-friendly events
  • Ban on outdoor alcohol advertising on government-owned assets and public transport infrastructure. 

Read more

National lung cancer screening program

Cancer Australia is investigating the feasibility for a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. The consultation is being hosted on the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub until Monday, 17 February 2020.

You are invited to provide your input into the Consultation Hub. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete and submissions can also be attached.

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry, please visit the Cancer Australia website.

Medical Board of Australia Newsletter January 2020

Read the latest news from the Medical Board of Australia.

2020 ANZSBT Research Grant now open for applications

The 2020 Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) Research Grant contributes towards research in transfusion medicine and science in Australasia, and promotes and develops research in related medical knowledge and science.

The society maintains broad interests in clinical practice improvement, patient blood management and haemovigilance. In addition, the ANZSBT Council has nominated the following research priorities for 2020:

  • Transfusion in rural and remote settings
  • Transfusion in the foetal, neonatal and paediatric settings
  • Transfusion in Indigenous populations or minority groups of Australia or New Zealand, or
  • Transfusion in the elderly.

Grants will be available for research projects and are intended for researchers who have not received significant funding from other sources for the nominated project. Applications that seek funding to provide service delivery are unlikely to be funded.

Find out more

2019 Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide from the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed educational resources that are freely available to the healthcare community as a public service in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide – an online learning activity providing a clinical overview of infection control and patient care guidance
  • Coronavirus: What the clinician needs to know podcast.
Access resources

Conferences and events

Adult Internal Medicine DPE Forum

Date: Thursday, 5 March 2020, 10am to 4pm
Location: RACP, Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 19, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney
RSVP: Friday, 21 February 2020

The Adult Internal Medicine Director of Physician Education (DPE) Forum is an opportunity for all Australian AIM DPEs to network, discuss issues related to basic training, hear directly from the Adult Internal Medicine Basic Training Committee, and get updates on the RACP Education Renewal projects and how it impacts you and your settings.

An induction for all new DPEs will be held the day before the forum to equip you with everything you need in your new role. Dedicated Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops have also been scheduled around the forum.

Note: DPE induction, plus an optional SPDP1 workshop will be held Wednesday, 4 March. Optional SPDP2 and SPDP3 workshops will be held Friday, 6 March.

Register now

Australian Diabetes Society Practical Skills Course

Date: Saturday, 15 February 2020
Course Times: Registration is from 8:15am to 8:45am; course to commence sharply at 8:45am and will conclude at 5.30pm
Location: Melbourne Marriott Hotel, Cnr Exhibition & Lonsdale Sts, Melbourne, VIC
Registration Fees: Registration is free of charge (but trainees will need to organise their own travel arrangements)

The Australian Diabetes Society is running its annual Practical Skills Course for first year trainees in adult endocrinology. The course will focus on the hands-on practical skills required to effectively care for people with diabetes in ward and clinic settings. It will be run by senior endocrinologists, senior Advanced Trainees, and other diabetes health professionals.

Find out more

Webinar: Registering and uploading records to My Health Record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of an individual's health information available to all Australians. Healthcare providers authorised by their organisation can access My Health Record to view and add to their patients' health information. Understanding how to register and upload to My Health Record can be challenging. Join Professor Steven Boyages as he interviews Carey Doolan from the Australian Digital Health Agency who will provide practical advice to help you register and upload to My Health Record.

Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email  about how to join the webinar.

Register now

Member Advantage deals

Start the year with an exclusive AMEX welcome bonus

Enjoy a specially negotiated welcome offer of 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and reduced annual fee of $1,200 simply through your RACP benefits.

Apply today for The Professionals American Express® Platinum Card for highlights including:

  • $450 Travel Credit each year
  • 24/7 Platinum Concierge service
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Make life easier and start turning your dream holiday into a reality with all these offers and more. Now add up to four additional Platinum Cards to enjoy many of the same benefits you do, for no extra fee.

Call 1300 853 352 for more information.

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*Terms and conditions, eligibility criteria and minimum spend apply. 

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If you are looking to transfer money overseas, OFX can help you save money with bank beating exchange rates and $0 OFX transfer fees* through your benefits.

OFX is an ASX listed company, providing fast and secure international money transfers for private clients and business customers, with 24/7 support. Since launching over 20 years ago, OFX have helped more than 1 million customers worldwide and securely transferred over AU$100bn.

You will enjoy:

  • $0 OFX transaction fees on all transfers over AUD$250*
  • competitive exchange rates
  • a dedicated Account Manager.

For further enquiries, contact the Member Advantage dedicated Account Manager Samuel Pitt.

Access offer

*Third party fees may apply. OzForex Limited trading as “OFX”. ABN 65 092 375 703 | AFSL 226 484. Read our PDS and FSG at OFX.com

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