The President's Message - 18 April 2019

This month we have two important updates for members on both sides of the Tasman, regarding the Australian Election, and Congress 2019 in Auckland.

First – as you will all know, last week the Australian Federal Election was called for 18 May. 

We play an active role in election campaigns on both sides of the Tasman by advocating for policies explicitly designed to improve health outcomes for our communities. 

The RACP’s 2019 Australian Government Election Statement outlines our priority policy areas across the key themes of sustainability, equity and prevention, and spells out recommendations for future-proofing the Australian healthcare system. 

We have prepared a suite of materials to support Australian member advocacy. These include letter templates to be used to write to Members of Parliament or to your local newspaper, social media champion kits, and fact sheets on key priorities. 

I strongly encourage our Australian members to make your voices heard right up to and including 18 May, and to share your experiences with us, whether via social media or by emailing

For details on how to take part and access our advocacy kits, please visit the RACP election campaign page.

Second – we are now just weeks away from Congress 2019 at Auckland’s Aotea Centre. This promises to be a spectacular event for all Australian and New Zealand Fellows and trainees.

With a focus on impacting health along the life course, this year Congress takes an in-depth look at the range of ways physicians impact patients’ lives, from paediatrics to palliative care.

Eminent New Zealand psychiatrist Sir Mason Durie KNZM who is renowned for his transformation of Māori Healthcare is giving the opening keynote oration.

Congress will open with a full Powhiri (welcome) from lower Northland and Auckland Iwi (tribe) Ngāti Whātua.

Register now if you haven’t already, and I hope to see you there.

Finally, you will have received your Notice of Meeting for both our Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting last week.

Please note that there are a number of changes to the College constitution that have been proposed. I encourage you to check the notice and make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to have your say. 

Associate Professor Mark Lane
RACP President

Join the RACP Governance Committee

A newly established Governance Committee is seeking applications from members with governance skills to join the Committee.

Following major changes to its governance arrangements, the Board has established a Governance Committee (the “Committee”) as a recommending Committee of the Board, to oversee and consider in more detail By-laws, Policies and Procedures relating to governance affecting the College.

Expressions of interest are now sought for up to four member positions.

Members interested in applying for membership of the Governance Committee should submit their expression of interest form by COB Friday, 3 May 2019.

For more information please read:


RACP Congress 2019 – TWO WEEKS TO GO

Join colleagues from Monday, 6 to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, for RACP Congress 2019. As the premier annual event on the RACP calendar, Congress has a diverse program with topics that span the breadth of the medical industry. Congress surveys have proven that our members return to Congress yearly for the highly informative shared sessions.

With just over two weeks to go, register now to attend the following sessions plus more:

  • Opening Keynote – Indigenous knowledge and science: Doctors at the interface
    Sir Mason Durie
  • Howard-Williams Medal – A career in neonatal research - really?
    Professor Lex Doyle
  • The key to unlocking optimal health – The life course paradigm 
    Featuring Associate Professor Susan Morton, Sir Mason Durie, Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Ms Susie Ferguson. Chair: Dr Jonathan Christiansen
  • Obesity: Rising to the challenge 
    Featuring Dr Robyn Toomath, Ms Leonie Matoe, Mr David Letele and Ms Isabelle Lomax‐ Sawyers. 
    Chair: Professor Boyd Swinburn
  • The first 1,000 days – The window of opportunity for long term health 
    Featuring Professor Richie Poulton, Dr Matire Harwood and Dr Johan Morreau.
    Chair: Dr Patrick Tuohy
  • Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Oration – Implementing translational medicine and international collaboration to establish a life course approach to health
    Professor Yati Soenarto
  • Redfern Oration
    Professor Sandra Eades
  • George Burniston Oration – Function
    Professor Christopher Poulos
  • Medically unexplained symptoms – Master class 
    Featuring Dr Chris Kenedi, Ms Megan McEwen and Ms Kristy Bolter.
    Chair: Dr David Beaumont
  • The opioid epidemic – Iatrogenesis on a worldwide scale
    Featuring Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds, Dr Mat Brick, Dr Chris Rumball and Dr Chris Hayes.
    Chair: Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds
  • Integrated care – The future must be about partnerships 
    Featuring Dr Peter Jones, Ms Deborah Letica, Dr Andrew Knight and Ms Leanne Wells. 
    Chair: Dr Robert McLean
  • Cottrell Memorial Oration – A bitter harvest: the health consequences of seeking asylum in Australia
    Professor Suresh Sundram
  • Ferguson-Glass Oration – Socio-political context of physician health and wellbeing
    Professor Maureen Dollard
  • Closing plenary – Physician heal thyself 
    Featuring Dr Matt Beaumont, Dr Katie Thorne, Ms Lynne Urquhart, Dr Johanne Egan, Mr Pat Alley and Dr Sam Hazledine. 
    Chair: Dr Alexandra Muthu
Visit the Congress website to register and view the entire program.

Read RACP Quarterly online

Articles in the March/April 2019 edition include:
  • Blood stem cell therapy brings hope to people living with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Massive funding injection giving hope to people with Parkinson’s
  • Physician burnout – a crisis in healthcare
  • Innovative approach aiming to reduce obesity in Māori communities 
Read now

A feast of research presentations at RACP Congress 2019

Look for the research and innovation showcase on Monday, 6 and Tuesday, 7 May at the upcoming RACP Congress in Auckland, New Zealand.

The showcase brings together presentations by prominent researchers, including the recipient of the Eric Susman Prize; Professor Ranjeny Thomas, and the next generation – the recipients of the Trainee Research Awards. 

Representatives have been selected from each region in Australia and from New Zealand to present their research in the fields of Adult Medicine or Paediatric Medicine.

Other presentations happening throughout Congress and supported by the RACP Foundation include:


Seeking your input

We would like to know your views on the recommendations in the draft report of the Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce.

The recommendations in this report may have significant implications to how specialist and consultant physicians work in the future.

Your feedback is important as we are currently coordinating a response to this report.

Please complete this short survey by COB 30 April 2019.

The full report is available on the Department of Health website

Consultation on RACP revised conflicts of interest policy

The College is currently undertaking a consultation on its revised Conflict of Interest Policy. The deadline for feedback is 13 May 2019. If you are interested in providing your feedback to this consultation please contact

RACP Foundation research awards

Applications for research funding for 2020 offered through the RACP Foundation will open Wednesday, 1 May 2019. Upwards of 50 awards with a total value of $2.5 million are available across the different categories:
Full details for these opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation website. Email the RACP Foundation to sign up for updates.

End-stage kidney disease in Fiji

You can now read the latest edition of the Internal Medicine Journal online. Highlights include articles on:

  • Pill testing warrants assessment in careful pilot programmes
  • Sudden infant death syndrome: current perspectives
  • Electronic cigarettes in physician practice: a complex debate
  • Medical complications of homelessness: a neglected side of men's health

The Editor's Choice for the month is an article on chronic kidney disease. The article aims to estimate the incidence and characteristics of ESKD in Fijian adults.

Read now

Editorial article on the evolutionary origin of disgust

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Heath April 2019 edition is out now. It includes articles about:

  • The evolutionary origin of disgust
  • The contribution of red blood cell transfusion to neonatal morbidity and mortality
  • Paediatric electroencephalograph: The benefits of guidelines
  • Outcomes of infants born at borderline viability (23–25 weeks gestation) who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation at birth
  • Predictive risk factors for complicated pneumonia in Malaysian children
Read now

Live better with Member Advantage

Following the recent announcement of a rate rise, here's a summary of changes since the Australian Government health insurance reforms came into effect on 1 April:

  • hospital covers categorised as gold, silver, bronze and base for ease of comparison
  • treatments or services may be added or removed provided category requirements are met.

HCF remain committed to helping members beat rate rises while providing quality, tailored protection at outstanding value*.

Compare and save when you join HCF through your benefits program:

  • save on corporate health insurance premiums
  • heart cover included on all hospital products
  • one hospital excess per person, per year and no excess for children
  • free 'Limit Boosts' to top up annual dental and optical limits.

To find out more or get an online quote, visit your RACP benefits program website or call 1300 853 352.

*Terms and conditions apply.

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