Queensland - May 2022

A message from the Queensland Regional Committee Chair

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster

This will be my last message to members as Chair of our College Regional Committee. Looking back, it has been an extraordinary time with issues affecting nearly all of us.

For trainees there has been disruption from the COVID-19 epidemic which has affected their training, work, and their families, as well the recent computer based written exam problems which led to so much pain for many of those sitting.

For Fellows there has been similar disruption from COVID-19 affecting private and public practice. And for our communities, the disruption to health services with delays in access to diagnosis and other clinical services, as well as the loss of loved ones. The effects of this epidemic will be felt for years to come. On top of all of this, the recent floods have affected many of our members and so much of our community. These have been extraordinary times indeed.

Minister D'Ath Meeting thumbnailAt our recent meeting with the Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance, Yvette D’Ath, Associate Professor Nitin Kapur (President-elect, PCHD), Dr Hashim Abdeen (co-Chair, Queensland Trainees’ Committee) and myself took the opportunity to highlight the stress that our members and our health system is under with these issues. We recognise that there is not a bottomless bucket of money to increase our health system funding forever, however we stressed the importance of health service managers recognising this stress and taking accountability for trying to reduce unreasonable pressure on clinicians. I believe that some (but not all) of the bullying that occurs in our workplaces is a result of management pressure. This must stop.

With Minister D’Ath we also raised the issue of the unacceptable situation of the low age (10 years) of criminal responsibility which we have here in Queensland. Current legislation contravenes UN rights of the child treaties, flies in the face of our knowledge of childhood brain development, and is actually more expensive than funding alternatives to the criminal justice system. The minister listened sympathetically to our discussion. I hope that this gets translated into action. Time will tell.

I am going to finish this very long message with my thanks to our regional College colleagues and the Queensland Regional Committee who have worked with me over the last few years. Without them we would never achieve anything. I know that the RACP team provide support to so many members, especially to trainees and to the various regional committees.

There are a number of our Regional Committee members who are retiring this cycle. Please join me in thanking Dr Fahid Hashem, Dr Joseph Lee, Associate Professor Gail Robinson, and Associate Professor Nitin Kapur (our Deputy Chair) for their time, the many hours spent reading voluminous meeting papers and attending Zoom meetings, their good humour, and their commitment to our profession. Without them our College would not be so strong.

Professor Nick Buckmaster FRACP, FACEM
Queensland Regional Committee Chair

A message from your Queensland Trainees' Committee Co-Chairs

Dr Abdeen and Dr ThiteDear Queensland RACP trainees, 

As we are truly well into the 2022 medical year, we know it has been a rough start for many. With the ongoing effects of the pandemic on our workforce, recent floods, and further the disruptions to our recent Divisional Written Examination (DWE), we appreciate that it has been a challenging start to the year. Your Queensland Trainees’ Committee (QTC) continues to advocate on behalf of trainees to ensure that high quality education, training and wellbeing is maintained across our RACP training sites. Thank you to those of you who provided feedback about ongoing issues regarding education and training – we endeavour to continue working with the College to address issues that arise from time-to-time. We again acknowledge the stress of trainees who have undergone recently disrupted examinations and thank all the trainees, Fellows and RACP colleagues who have worked so hard and contributed to exams. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce two new members to our Queensland Trainees’ Committee: Dr Lily Pham and Dr William (Billy) Moorhead. Both will make great additions to our Committee. We would also like to thank our outgoing members Dr Kristen Lefever and Dr Isabel Watt for their invaluable contributions to the Committee during their terms.

At the last QTC meeting we spoke about ways that Queensland trainees can get in contact with members of the QTC. Shortly we shall be circulating an information flyer to the various Queensland Adult Medicine and Paediatric DPEs so that they can share with you your QTC representative for your site. We encourage all trainees to get in touch with your local QTC representative or to contact RACPQLD@racp.edu.au if you have any issues.

We are hopeful for a better and brighter rest of the year and look forward to seeing you at RACP Congress and other RACP Queensland events in the second half of the year.

As always, your feedback is welcome!

Dr Hash Abdeen and Dr Pallavi Thite              
Queensland Trainees’ Committee Co-Chairs

Australia Day 2022 Honours List

Prof Barbara LeggettWe would like to congratulate Professor Barbara Leggett FRACP on her significant service to gastroenterology and hepatology, and to medical research. These have been acknowledged with an appointment as a Member (AM) in the General Division of Orders of Australia in the 2022 Australia Day Honours List.

Professor Leggett graduated in medicine from the University of Queensland in 1980 with a University Medal and commenced work as an intern at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in 1981. With brief interruptions, she has worked there for the last 40 years. She became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1988 and was the first woman in Queensland to train to be a gastroenterologist. She ultimately became the first female President of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia.

Professor Leggett’s initial research was in haemochromatosis under the guidance of Professor Lawrie Powell and Professor June Halliday, and her clinical work has continued to be in hepatology. However, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to become involved in the exciting new field of molecular genetics in the 1990s. This enabled rapid progress to be made in understanding the causes of inherited predisposition to bowel cancer making possible the introduction of genetic testing for these families. Further understanding of the molecular evolution of bowel cancer made it possible to prove that serrated bowel polyps, previously ignored as nonsignificant, are in fact the precursors to 20 per cent of bowel cancers. In this work she has had the great privilege to work with many fantastic individuals including Professor Jeremy Jass, Dr Joanne Young, Associate Professor Vicki Whitehall and Dr Mark Bettington. Colonoscopy practice has now changed worldwide to remove serrated polyps thus enhancing protection against development of bowel cancer.

Commencing 27 September 2021 – Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and Therapeutic Goods Act 2019 and supporting regulations

At the Governor-in-Council meeting on 16 September 2021, the regulations supporting the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and Therapeutic Goods Act 2019 were approved to commence with the Acts on 27 September 2021.

The suite of new legislation comprises of:
Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 

Therapeutic Goods Act 2019

The Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (the MPA) and supporting regulations introduces a new legislative framework for the regulation of medicines, poisons, pesticides, fumigants and prohibited substances (collectively known as regulated substances) in Queensland. This new legislation modernises and streamlines the medicines and poisons regulatory framework, making it easier for practitioners, industry and the community to understand and apply in practice.

The new scheme ensures better monitoring of, and responding to, health risks associated with inappropriate access to and use of regulated substances. It provides greater assurance to the community that medicines, poisons, pest management activities and therapeutic goods are regulated by a framework that enhances public safety.

The Therapeutic Goods Act 2019 (TG Act (QLD)) adopts the Commonwealth’s Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Commonwealth Act) and regulations, orders and manufacturing principles as laws of Queensland. The TG Act (QLD) reduces regulatory burden and enables the application of national regulatory controls to Queensland-based manufacturers of therapeutic goods. The commencement of the TG Act (QLD) means non-corporate entities such as sole traders and partnerships trading only within Queensland, will be subject to the same Commonwealth requirements as all other manufacturers.

Familiar legislation will be repealed

With the commencement of the new legislation scheme, other legislation that has been in place for many years will be revoked, including the Health Act 1937 with the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR), and the Pest Management Act 2001 and the Pest Management Regulation 2003.

Emergency order

From 27 September 2021, the Emergency order - Public Health Emergency – Pandemic Response to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (emergency order) will replace the COVID Vaccination CODE and the COVID vaccination components of the Drug Therapy Protocol – Communicable Disease Program under the repealed HDPR. The emergency order will be published on the Queensland Health website – Updates and alerts.

For further information

Further information about the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and Therapeutic Goods Act 2019 and supporting regulations, departmental standards and extended practice authorities and what this means for you, will be available on the Queensland Health website for commencement.

The Jameson Investigator Award

The Jameson Investigator Award for research related to Indigenous health issues is presented to the best oral research presentation made at the Queensland Regional Committee research presentation evening. Presentations can be made in person or via video conference. The recipient is awarded $400 and a certificate. Applications close Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Find out more

RACP Online Community (ROC) and Mentor Match

Welcome to the RACP Online Community (ROC)!

You will have seen correspondence from the College around the launch of our online community; the ROC. The ROC which provides RACP members with the opportunity to discuss topical industry news, to catch up with colleagues, and to keep abreast of College news and events. It can also be used to post questions, share comments, and start debates and discussions with members in Western Australia, as well as with other members from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

We would encourage you to log into the ROC and take part in our online community.  

Log into the ROC

Mentor Match at the ROC

Mentor Match is open to all members who would like to share their knowledge, expertise and advice with junior colleagues. You are invited to register as a mentor, and to watch this short video to see how easy it is to participate.

We will soon be inviting members to apply to be mentees. Please keep a look out for further information, and contact us if you have any questions.

Supervisor Professional Development Program Workshops

Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops provide supervisors with an opportunity to share their expertise with other supervisors and enhance and strengthen their supervisor skills. 

Register for a virtual, face-to-face, or online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshop.

RACP Online Learning

The RACP offers an extensive collection of online learning resources designed to support members with their professional development and lifelong learning needs. Resources cover a range of clinical and professional topics, including:

And more! Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for time spent on RACP Online Learning.

Find online resources

RACP Support Program

The RACP Support Program is a fully confidential and independent helpline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is free for Fellows and trainees.

The RACP places the utmost importance on the wellbeing of its members. It can be difficult to balance the pressures of the workplace, interactions with colleagues and personal relationships. If you are having a hard time, we encourage you to contact Converge to organise a free session.

Get support

Upcoming RACP Queensland Events

Joining a group practice

Date: 21 May 2022, 9am to 12pm (AEST)

Location: Online

Host: RACP QLD Regional Committee and The Professional Medical Practice

This seminar is the starting point for Fellows who wish to join an established group practice. The learning outcome is to provide new specialists with an overview of the ideal process for joining an established specialist practice. The seminar will cover the structures used and process to join, valuation models, legal agreements, tips and traps for joining a practice.

  • Accounting considerations and structuring
  • Indemnity Insurance
  • Legal considerations and service agreements
  • Key Man and Buy Sell insurances

Register here

Supporting continuity of care with digital health tools

Date: 26 May 2022, 7pm  to 8pm (AEST)
RACP QLD Regional Committee and Australian Digital Health Agency

Traditionally healthcare providers have used fax and email to share patient and clinical information, however these mediums have little to no security measures. Secure messaging ensures better protection of patient information through enhanced security measures and can save both you and your referrers valuable time. This webinar will cover how secure messaging can benefit your practice and how it may be implemented.  We will also explore other ways of sharing health information with health professionals and your patients through digital health tools such as My Health Record. The webinar will provide an opportunity to ask questions.

Register here

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