RACP Aotearoa NZ eBulletin June 2020

The Aotearoa New Zealand President's Post

Matariki te tipua       Matariki the sacred     
Matariki te tawhito   
Matariki the ancient
Tau mai te wairua    
Welcome the spirit
Mai ngā ira atua       
From the divine
Ki te ira tangata       
To the human
Tihei mauriora!        
I sneeze, it is life!

Kia ora rā tātou, e ngā mema o to tātou Kareti-a-Ariki ki Aotearoa. Ko au: ki te taha a tōku Pāpā, ko Ashmore te waka, ko Rarotonga te maunga, ko Manukau te moana, ko Onehunga te kainga, ko Ngai Pākehā te iwi. Ki te taha a tōku Māmā, ko Matāatua te waka, ko Mākeo te maunga, ko Ōpepe te awa, ko Ōpape te marae, ko Te Whakatōhea te iwi. Ko George Laking tōku ingoa, he rata au kei Tāmaki Makaurau mō te matepukupuku.

I acknowledge my many teachers who brought me to this point. In particular I recall those Māori leaders of the College who are no longer with us, Professor Eru Pomare, and Dr Leo Buchanan, sons of Taranaki. Moe mai, e ngā Rangatira kua hinga, moe mai. 

Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate, te hunga ora ki te hunga ora.
The dead to the dead, the living to the living.

In my first post as Aotearoa New Zealand President, I acknowledge and thank Dr Jeff Brown for his exceptional leadership as President over the past two years. Dr Brown steered our College safely through turbulent waters, including the Christchurch attacks, industrial actions, and now COVID-19.

Jeff has been a tireless advocate for equity, and a champion for Te Tiriti o Waitangi. He committed the College to consider wellbeing and mana of Māori as tangata whenua. As you will have inferred from his writings that meticulously reference Māori whakataukī, Jeff made sure to incorporate mātauranga Māori across our diverse work streams and activities. 

A major legacy from Jeff has been the appointment of the College’s first Kaitohutohu Ahurea Māori Cultural Advisor. Veronica Thompson (Ngāti Kahungunu) is based at our Wellington office. Veronica is working with committees and staff to strengthen the College’s tikanga values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and mōhiotanga.

I also acknowledge the exceptional leadership of my colleague, Associate Professor Mark Lane, who served as RACP President over the last two years. In particular, I thank Mark for his work in support of the College’s Indigenous Strategic Framework (ISF). This culminated last year in Redfern, Sydney, with the Board’s positioning of the ISF at the centre of the College’s work plan, and its approval of the RACP Statement of Principles on Justice and Equity.

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi
Without foresight or vision the people will be lost

Three months ago I was happily on annual leave, cycling from Cape Reinga to Bluff in the Tour Aotearoa. I came back to work with our country and the world in a much different place. As the pandemic advanced, many usual modes of health care became frankly, if temporarily, unsafe. In my own area of oncology, we closed clinical areas to all but well staff and screened patients. We achieved a wholesale shift to telemedicine in the space of a week.

The Aotearoa New Zealand response to COVID-19 again revealed the health sector’s need to centre equity for Māori and to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We have had to rapidly find ways to handle catastrophic load, without harming those already at disadvantage. In virtue of our role as agents of the Crown, Te Tiriti is a necessary lens for all College decisions. It’s our duty to ensure that inequity is remedied, and that tangata whenua are actively protected. We must carry these values beyond our College, into all the places where we work and advocate. 

He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata: Centre Equity and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all COVID-19 Pandemic Planning, Strategy and Responses stated our support for Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā, the National Māori Pandemic Group. Urutā was not invited by the Aotearoa New Zealand Government, but was formed by senior Māori health professionals and Iwi leaders. The RACP supports Urutā’s calls for a pandemic response that centres equity in decision-making, planning, escalation of care, and resource allocation; and high-quality ethnicity data to inform strategic planning and recovery.

COVID-19’s potential to worsen inequity underscored the need for our campaign to #MakeHealthEquityTheNorm. In the March Aotearoa New Zealand ebulletin, we published the College’s #MakingItTheNorm report cards, a check-in on progress towards equitable health and social outcomes. We returned to the case studies developed for the 2017 election, to see how policy changes would have affected their lives. In the 2020 election we will continue our focus on the three areas of healthy housing, good work, and whānau wellbeing.  

Whaia te iti Kahurangi, me tuohu koe, he maunga teitei
Seek that which is precious, if you should fail, let it be to a lofty mountain.

I acknowledge our Fellows who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 – Distinguished Professor Jane Harding, Professor Robert Elliott, Dr Garry Forgeson, amd Dr Janet Turnbull. As Aotearoa New Zealand President, I am delighted to congratulate you on behalf of all Fellows, trainees, and staff. Please read more about their achievements in the item below

Piki te ora, piki te kaha, piki te māramatanga, kia tau te rangimarietanga i ngā wā katoa
Let us seek health, strength, and enlightenment, for peace to abide with us at all times

Nāku noa, nā

Dr George Laking
RACP Aotearoa New Zealand President

RACP Aotearoa New Zealand telehealth survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused radical shifts in healthcare service delivery and clinical practice. One of the major changes has been the switch to telehealth, with clinicians now meeting with people and whānau over the phone or via videoconferencing software. To find out more about our Aotearoa New Zealand members’ experiences using telehealth as part of their practice, RACP has developed a quick survey

What is the purpose of the survey?

The aim of the survey is to provide a channel for members to share their experiences of using telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, observations on what has worked for patients and whānau, and experiences around implementation. The survey responses are anonymous.

How will my responses be used?

The results will inform RACP’s contributions to ongoing conversations in the sector around models of care, the integration of e-health and telehealth, and wider changes to the health and disability system that may be recommended as a result of the Health and Disability System Review and the Waitangi Tribunal’s WAI 2575 Inquiry into Health Services and Outcomes for Māori.

Take the survey

The 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours

Congratulations to the Aotearoa New Zealand RACP Fellows recognised in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours. These awards highlight the outstanding work RACP members do and the importance of that work in local, national and international communities.

The New Zealand Order of Merit

To be Dame Companion of the said Order
To be Knight Companion of the said Order
To be Officers of the said Order

#MakingItTheNorm in 2020

With Budget 2020 being recently released and an upcoming election in September, 2020 is a big year for #MakingItTheNorm. The issues of Whānau Wellbeing, Good Work, and Healthy Housing remain important determinants of health, and priorities for action in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Budget 2020 has provided a springboard from which a sustained focus on wellbeing and equity can be built. “We have seen this Government prioritise wellbeing, with mental health and poverty reduction as key initiatives, and Treasury’s Living Standards Framework introducing a new way of thinking around our economic wellbeing and aspirations for the future,” said Dr George Laking, an Auckland-based Medical Oncologist and RACP Aotearoa New Zealand President.

We now call on the Government to maintain this focus into the future. “Budget 2020 still only skirts the edges of long-awaited systemic change in social security. We welcome the direction of change but would support the Government going further to support whānau wellbeing,” said Dr Laking.

This will be the focus of the RACP’s advocacy as we enter the election period. Based on our 2019 #MakingItTheNorm report cards, Whānau Wellbeing, Healthy Housing, and Good Work continue to be top priorities for the RACP. We will call on the incoming Government to further commit to action in these areas, utilising the foundations built during the past three years.


Congress 2020: Healthy Futures, Healthy Cities

A multidisciplinary discussion on urban futures and the role physicians can play to ensure positive health outcomes. 

Session date: Monday, 22 June 2020
Webinar time: 2pm to 3pm (NZST) 
Register: Register online – free for RACP members

Urban density, once seen as a blight is now viewed as a necessary feature of existence. Climate change, pandemics, viral infections, digital existence, ageing, complexity, vulnerability and loneliness are new health issues we have to deal with. How can we, as physicians ensure that future cities lead to better, healthier lives? The role of design for health in cities will be crucial. 

Join our speakers for this highly interactive, multidisciplinary live webinar:

  • Professor Tony Capon, Director, Monash University Sustainable Development Unit
  • Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Advisor, Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Dr Lucy Gunn, Research Fellow, RMIT University, Centre for Urban Research
  • Professor Jo Douglass – James Stewart Professor of Medicine in the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine and Director of Research at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
  • Session Chair: RACP President, Professor John Wilson AM, Head, CF Service, Alfred Health.

This session is made possible through the sponsorship of our major partner the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Register now

MyCPD update

During this difficult time, we appreciate CPD requirements are the last thing on your mind, but many of you have contacted us seeking reassurance on the expectations of both the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and the College.

The MCNZ has exempted all general and vocationally-registered doctors from recertification programme requirements until 28 February 2021. MCNZ staff will not be auditing doctors for CPD compliance until March 2021. They expect doctors to be enrolled and actively participating in their required programmes from 1 March 2021. The College is very supportive of this approach.

What this means for your 2019 CPD record

If you have not yet completed your 2019 CPD record, you have until 31 July 2020 to do so. The RACP is required to formally notify the MCNZ of any New Zealand registered CPD participants who fail to complete their CPD requirements over 2018 and 2019 CPD years. The CPD Team is currently offering phone interviews and extensive support for anyone who has yet to record their 2019 CPD activities.

What this means for your 2020 CPD record

You are exempt from recording 2020 CPD activities. We know many of you will complete a multitude of CPD activities this year, whether up-skilling in the use of telehealth for virtual consultations, reviewing online mental health resources, or vaccine development for those in immunology and infectious diseases research. The types of innovation we’re currently seeing from our medical profession are perhaps the ultimate CPD. We won’t monitor or audit CPD records in 2020 but they will still be open if you wish to record your CPD.

The College will continue to work with MCNZ regarding the 2021 CPD requirements. We will communicate with you on this later in the year.

If you have any questions or require any support from the CPD Unit at this time, please contact us on +64 4 460 8122 or MyCPD@racp.org.nz.

Updates on Advanced Training Curricula renewal

The common standards for Advanced Training curricula have now been finalised. Thank you to all members who participated in consultation activities on the draft common standards throughout 2019. Your feedback was used to identify the content that is common across the Advanced Training programmes, and to refine that content.

There is more work to be done to develop appropriate competencies for Cultural Competence. We will continue development and consultation in this area. This year we will also focus on developing the common elements of the learning, teaching and assessment programmes that will support the new Advanced Training curricula. Some specialties will also start developing their programme-specific curriculum content with assistance from the Curriculum Advisory Group and RACP Curriculum Team.

Trainee Wellbeing Webinar: Thursday, 15 October

In light of the RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day not going ahead this year, you are invited to a special Trainee Webinar on Thursday, 15 October 2020 from 6-9pm (NZDT). With a focus on trainee wellbeing, this webinar is important now more than ever and is not to be missed. Registration will be free, and all trainees are welcome to attend.

Please remember to save the date in your calendars, as online registrations will open soon.

Contact us

The Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP)

Due to COVID-19, the College Education Committee (CEC) recently extended the deadline for supervisors to have completed their first SPDP workshop by the end of December 2021. The timeline for completion of all three workshops by the end of December 2022 remains unchanged. Approved Supervisor status is achieved by completing all three SPDP workshops, in any order.

Virtual SPDP Workshops through Zoom have been piloted with great success. However, in order to offer more Zoom workshops, we need more SPDP Facilitators. If you would like to learn more about facilitation using a virtual platform, we can provide comprehensive training to get you started. It’s easier than it sounds, offers new transferable skills and earns CPD credits.

Expressions of interest are welcomed. To find out if facilitating is for you, please email us

Find out more

College Ceremony Aotearoa New Zealand

Due to the global COVID-19 situation, the College Ceremony that was planned to take place in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington in July 2020 has been postponed to July 2021.

All New Fellows will receive an email invitation to register their attendance at a College Ceremony closer to the time. Further details will also be announced on the website when available.

Foundation_EDM headers_2020_F

RACP Foundation update

Trainee Research Awards proceeding in 2020

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

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

Please send your abstract submissions or enquiries by email to racp@racp.org.nz.

Research Awards and Travel Grants for 2021

Applications are now open for RACP Foundation Research Awards and Travel Grants.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Fellows Research Entry Scholarship provides stipend support to encourage and support the promotion of research by Fellows and trainees from Aotearoa New Zealand in any medical specialty areas represented by the RACP's Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

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

  • Research Establishment Fellowships for those establishing their research careers. Applications close Monday, 29 June 2020.
  • Travel Grants provide funding to support short periods of research or study overseas. Applications close Monday, 13 July 2020.

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

College medals and awards

Nominations open Wednesday, 1 July 2020 for these College prizes acknowledging outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields:

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of the College and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto hominum servire saluti. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
  • International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • Trainee of the Year recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to the College, community and trainee activities.

If you have a mentor or colleague you wish to recognise, now is the time to nominate them for one of these prestigious awards. Nominations must be submitted by Monday, 14 September 2020.

Nominations are already open for the following awards:

  • Eric Susman Prize recognises best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine and paediatrics). Nominations close Monday, 31 August 2020.
  • Howard Williams Medal recognises a member of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the health of children and young people. Nominations close Monday, 10 August 2020.

Fellows selected for the Eric Susman Prize and the Howard Williams Medal will be invited to give an oration or presentation as part of the 2021 RACP Congress.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation website.

Recent policy submissions

We have recently made submissions on the following topics:



Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand

New Zealand Child Asthma Guidelines

Justice Select Committee

Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill

Ministry of Health

Death, Funerals, Burial and Cremation Review

Health Select Committee

New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill

Social Services and Community Select Committee

RACP submission on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

Royal Society Te Aparangi – call for applications

The Royal Society Te Aparangi call for applications is now open. You are encouraged to submit your application until the closing date, Monday, 31 August 2020. Information about how to apply is available on the Society’s website.

The Sir Hugh Kawharu Masters Scholarship for Innovation in Science

A $10,000 scholarship for study at masters level in the sciences. The Scholarship is applicable across a broad range of science disciplines including the physical, mathematical and computational, earth, environment, marine, social, health, biological, biomedical, human, and behavioural sciences.

Raewyn Good Study Award for Māori and Pasifika Social Science Research

An award of $6,000, tenable at any Aotearoa New Zealand university/wānanga for one year is available to students, who at the time of application, are engaged/enrolled in or applying for a Master’s degree which involves undertaking social sciences research.

RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship

A study award of $6,000 for a PhD in the Physical Sciences and Engineering in a Aotearoa New Zealand university. Preference will be given to those whose research aims to apply information/image processing to studies in medicine, the physical sciences, astronomy or engineering.

Find out more

HRC Career Development Awards

Applications are open for the 2021 Health Research Council (HRC) Career Development Awards. Researchers will be able to apply for opportunities in three categories:

Visit HRC Gateway for more details on each grant and to check your eligibility to apply. Application guidelines and forms will be available on the site nearer to the opening date.

Time-out with Flourish magazine

The latest edition of Flourish magazine, an online health and wellbeing eMagazine is available. Flourish is brought to you by the RACP Support Program partners, Converge International. Converge International manages our free 24/7 support hotline for members and staff.

Articles this month include:

  • Mental fitness
  • The science of compassion
  • A patient’s account of being diagnosed with bowel cancer
  • the Three R’s of financial fitness.

Read now

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