Queensland - August 2019

A message from the Queensland Regional Committee Chair

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster

As I write this update we have just successfully held our third Queensland Fellows' and Trainees' Forum. The audience heard fascinating presentations on topics ranging from a very pragmatic discussion on medical ethics presented by Erin Sharwood and another on health system stewardship from Geoff McColl through to practical presentations on tax efficiency and medico-legal risk management from our sponsors.

We also received an update on My Health Record which included a great discussion from audience members. Once again there was a supervisors workshop facilitated by Nitin Kapur and Peter Davoren held in the morning.  The attendance at these forums grow each year and this year we had well over 100 registrations. The two lucky draw winners Dr Jane Dyer, winner of luxury BMW for a weekend presented by William Buck. Dr Rahul Joshi, winner BOQ basket of goodies.

QFTF Winner Dr Jane Dyer BMW Luxury Weekend Car Winner - presented by Paul Copeland QFTF Winner Dr Rahul Joshi BOQ basket of goodies - presented by Colin Taylor  

The regional College team put an enormous effort into the organisation each year. This year they were supported by Nitin Kapur, Gail Robinson and Kristie Johns as the organising committee who put together a great program. Please see photos at the end of this article.

As I prefaced in my last letter, there has been a lot of activity nationally in developing a College response to the discussion paper relating to proposed MBS reforms to consultant rebates. Your College surveyed members views on each of the reforms and developed a response on this basis. It is fair to say there is a diversity of views around all the proposed changes, and this was reflected in our response.

On behalf of your College, I attended the state parliamentary enquiry on Ageing, Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). Recognising again the diversity of views within our membership, RACP previously recognised that it is impossible to take a position on the rights and wrongs of VAD, however we must try to ensure that if it becomes lawful in Queensland there is a framework to protect the rights of physicians, trainees and their patients, including vulnerable people. This is the position that I voiced to the enquiry, while reminding them that we must have better access to effective palliative care, no matter what the outcome.

Finally, we recently celebrated NAIDOC week, it is timely to let members know that we were fortunate to be able to hold the Queensland Regional Committee meeting recently at the Inala Indigenous Health Service. I would like to thank Noel Hayman for hosting the meeting there and giving committee members an insight into the facility, especially the way it incorporates specialist services. Many members will know that Noel has worked tirelessly over many years as a leader in primary and public health and as an innovator in Indigenous health. For many years chaired the RACP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. We are fortunate to have him as a Queensland member through the Faculty of Public Health.

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster FRACP, FACEM
Chair, Queensland Regional Committee

QFTF AProf Peter Davoren (former Qld Regional Chair) & AProf Nick Buckmaster current Regional Chair QFTF Dr Cyen Poh, Dr Rahul Joshi, Dr Adeline Lim, Dr Zoya Sharfuddin, Dr Krishanthi Ariyawansa  QFTF Dr Jonathan Kao, Dr Santosh Baral, Dr Su Mien Yeoh, Dr Manoj Chore, Dr Sarah Mon, AProf Peter Davoren

A message from your Queensland Trainees’ Committee Co-Chair

Dr Lucy Morgan

The Queensland Regional Trainees' Committee has once again been busy advocating for our fellow trainees. We have recently attended the AMA Queensland Junior Doctors Conference held on 15 and 16 June in Brisbane. Our Co-Chair Dr Hervey Lau was invited to speak on a panel including representatives of many other Colleges. He was able to provide insight into one of the many avenues of adult medicine including dual physician training. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend and we were able to talk to many junior doctors who were either interested in adult or paediatric training pathways, or simply wanted career advice. Please see photos below.

Having recently announced his decision to stand down from his position, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hervey Lau for his hard work as Co-Chair for Adult Medicine over the past four plus years. We have enjoyed working with you and wish you all the best for the future.  We would also like to congratulate Dr Hash Abdeen who was endorsed as the new Co-Chair for Adult Medicine and welcome a new member, Dr Kerinya Pillai who is a basic adult medicine trainee. 

Abstracts for the Trainee Research Awards and Jameson Investigator Award for research related to Indigenous Health are open until 31 August 2019. If you are a trainee, please consider submitting an abstract.  If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Dr Lucy Morgan, Paediatric Registrar
Co-Chair Queensland Trainees Committee
AMA JDC Dr Hervey Lau Panel Discussion AMA JDC Moayed Alawami,  Dr Kerinay Pillai and Dr Wen Lian Tan AMAQJDC AMA JDC RACP Trade table Dr Hervey lau Dr Lucy Morgan Dr Kristen Lefever 

Queen's Birthday Honours Queensland recipients

Associate Professor Clare Nourse AM FRACP

Clare Nourse
Associate Professor Nourse is a member of the Order of Australia for significant service to medicine in the field of paediatric infectious diseases. Sje is a Paediatric Infection Specialist at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland.

Born in Malawi, she qualified in medicine from Trinity College Dublin, and returned to Africa as a paediatrician to work in Ethiopia for the International Red Cross.

She is most interested in the health of marginalised, resource poor children and has a particular interest in HIV infection, tuberculosis, staphylococcal infection and refugee health.

She spends much of her free time working with Maluk Timor, an organisation in Dili, East Timor. She is a founding board member and chairs the medical advisory committee. Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of Australia’s closest neighbours. Malnutrition and infectious diseases are very common and children are particularly affected.

Maluk (Timorese word for ‘people together’) Timor is a Dili-based NGO that works inside government-run health centres, alongside Timorese health workers, and in close partnership with the Timorese Ministry of Health with the goal of empowering Timorese doctors and nurses to tackle Timor’s greatest health challenges in an effective and sustainable way.

‘It is a privilege to be able to travel to a less fortunate country and help improve the health of children, especially when doing it with friends and colleagues’ says Associate Professor Clare Nourse.

Numerous RACP members from Australia have contributed to Maluk Timor including Josh Francis, Andrew Cochrane, Pete Wallis, Amanda Wallis, Ashley Watson, Tim Gray, Tony Elias, Eleanor McMorran, Ian Sales and Di Rowling plus RACGP members Chris Fenton, Jeremy Beckett, Bethany Nelson, Margaret Gibbons amongst others. 


DR CHRIS CUNNEENIn the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours, Dr Chris Cunneen was awarded the Medal of THE Order of Australia, for services to Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr Chris Cunneen is a Director of OccPhyz Consulting and aconsultant Occupational & Environmental Physician, based in Brisbane but visits across Queensland.  In addition to his active medical practice, he is on the board of International Advisors with ABIME for AMA 6th Edition Guides to Permanent Impairment.  He has directed and provided reviews of Queensland’s GEPI for the Workers’ Compensation Regulator and various insurers.   Dr Cunneen currently supervises AFOEM registrars and is an AFOEM and RACGP Examiner.  Dr Cunneen has held various Faculty positions including AFOEM Qld Chair, Queensland representative on AFOEM Federal Council and RACP State Committee. He is currently serving in the RAAMC as a Colonel, providing specialist medical advice and leadership to various military units across Australia and overseas. Dr Cunneen has also provided voluntary specialist medical services to St John Ambulance QLD for over 25 years, which includes coordinating medical support to community events and during national emergencies.

Dr Chris Cunneen was born in Brisbane and is a medical graduate of Queensland University. His residency was at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and he completed his training with Fellowships in General Practice and Occupational & Environmental Medicine; and an Associate Fellowship in Medical Administration. Dr. Cunneen resides in Brisbane with his wife and enjoys life with his three adult children and two grandchildren.

Queensland Regional Committee visit to Inala Indigenous Health Service

A.Prof Gail Robinson Inala Health CentreOn 5 June 2019 the Inala Indigenous Health Service kindly hosted a meeting of the RACP Queensland Regional Committee meeting, on which I sit as a representative of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine. This visit was inspired by the promotion of the RACP’s Medical Specialist Access Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Professor Noel Hayman welcomed us and took the opportunity to show the committee members and RACP staff around this ever-expanding facility. Noel, a GP and FAFPHM, is Clinical Director, and is a leading innovator in bringing specialist services to Indigenous primary care settings.

The Inala Indigenous Health Service focuses on providing health services in a culturally safe setting that encourages engagement of Indigenous patients, enables integration of primary and specialist care at one site, and ready access to hospital services if required. The service, staff, and the health outcomes they achieve are a testament to the ability to deliver comprehensive health care in a culturally appropriate manner.

You can read more about Noel’s service at Inala and the role of physicians, paediatricians, and other specialists there in a case study developed as part of the RACP’s Medical Specialist Access Framework.

Associate Professor Gail Robinson FRANZCP, FAChAM, FRACMA
Member Queensland Regional Committee


The Health and Other Legislative Amendments Bill 2018

As you will be aware, drugs of dependence are prescription medicines that have a recognised therapeutic need but also a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence. On 3 April 2019, the Health and Other Legislative Amendments Bill 2018 (HOLAB) was passed by Queensland Parliament. Consequently, there will be changes to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) that will impact on the regulation of Schedule 8 (S8) drugs of dependence in Queensland. These changes are designed to streamline certain regulatory requirements for S8 prescribing in Queensland and came into effect 1 July 2019. These changes may impact on your prescribing activities.

Areas of change include

  • removal of need to report on lengthy treatment
  • approval for S8 medicinal cannabis
  • prescriber enquiry service
  • MRQ name change

Commencement of the Queensland notifiable dust lung disease register

In response to the emergence of occupational dust lung diseases, including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and silicosis, changes to the Public Health Act 2005 and the Public Health Regulation 2018 provide a legislative framework for Queensland Health to establish a notifiable dust lung disease register (NDLD register).

Notifiable diseases include the following diseases caused by occupational exposure to inorganic dust:

  • cancer
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • pneumoconiosis including asbestosis, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, mixed dust pneumoconiosis and silicosis.

Since 1 July 2019, Queensland medical practitioners from the following specialities are required to notify the NDLD register if they make a diagnosis of a notifiable dust lung disease:

  • occupational and environmental medicine
  • respiratory and sleep medicine.

These specialists will be required to notify the NDLD register about a notifiable dust lung disease within 30 days of diagnosis using the approved form. Notifications will be able to be submitted to the NDLD register via a secure portal.

For further information please visit the dust lung register webpage.

Upcoming events

Online Workshop

Start date

End date


26 August 2019

29 September 2019


14 October 2019

17 November 2019

If you are interested in attending or hosting a SPDP workshop at your site, please contact us

North Queensland Physicians' Conference 2019

You are invited to join us at North Queensland Physicians' Conference 2019 Rydges South Bank, Townsville on Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 September. Register today and for more information, view the preliminary program.

 Conference Highlights:
  • Specialty updates
  • Rapid fire controversial topics including low carb diets in diabetes
  • Evolution of NQ physician medicine
  • Castle Hill Stress Test – test yourself on Townsville’s famous landmark
  • Drinks at Townsville’s newest upmarket bar - Bridge Bar
  • Dinner at Jam Corner – known as one of Townsville’s best.


  • Consultant/Fellow $250, earlybird registration $200 (prior 31st July)
  • Partners attending conference and dinner $200
  • Registrars/ residents and medical students $135
  • Partners social events only $135

Register to participate in the new ethics online learning course

Ethics lies at the very heart of what it is to be a physician and is as relevant now as it was when first discussed two and a half thousand years ago. The ethics online learning resource focuses on the sorts of ethical issues that are a constant feature of healthcare. It also addresses some of the ideas that underpin ethics, such as the relationship between ethics and the law and the difference between ethics and rights.

The aims of this resource are to:

  • encourage discussion and broaden thinking about the main ethical issues facing physicians
  • encourage reflection on appropriate courses of action in situations that may be ethically challenging
  • challenge participants’ understanding of, and attitudes towards, ethics
  • model ethical practice
  • help participants reflect on their own and their profession’s ethical commitments. 

Register today

Jameson Investigator Award for research related to Indigenous health issues 2019

Do you live and work in Queensland?  Are you an RACP trainee or have you become a Fellow in the past three years?  You could win $450 and be presented with a certificate at the RACP Queensland Regional Committees’ Research Presentation Evening.  Applications for the 2019 Jameson Investigator Award is open until Friday, 30 August 2019.  Submit your abstract and give an oral presentation at the event for your chance to win.  Please send your abstract submission or enquiries by email

Trainee Research Awards

Applications for this year’s Trainee Research Awards are open until Saturday, 31 August 2019

The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity for trainees to present their research at a regional event. Trainees selected at each regional event will have the opportunity to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne.

For more information please visit the Foundation webpage.
Submissions close Saturday, 31 August at 5pm AEST.

Medical students are invited to apply for the John Snow Scholarships for 2019

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is celebrating the 10th year of the John Snow Scholarships. Applications are open until Monday, 30 September. These Scholarships provide opportunities for medical students to increase their appreciation of public health medicine as a medical speciality and potential career path.

Nine Scholarships are available each year, representing each State/Territory of Australia and New Zealand. All medical students currently enrolled in Australian or New Zealand medical schools are encouraged to apply.

The selected representatives are invited to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Trainee registration and travel assistance of up to $400 are included.

An overall winner will be presented with a certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Full details about this scholarship are available on the website. Please do not hesitate to contact the RACP Foundation for more information.

2019 MyCPD Framework: have you planned your CPD to meet the new requirements?

The new 2019 MyCPD Framework came into effect in January 2019. It changes the CPD activities you need to record to meet CPD requirements.

The framework is designed to help you prepare for future regulatory requirements to be introduced with the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework (PPF). The Medical Board launched the PPF in response to the final report from the Expert Advisory Group on re-validation.

The RACP’s simplified framework strengthens CPD by engaging Fellows in a range of CPD activities from three categories. CPD activities are required in at least two of the following categories:

  • educational activities
  • reviewing performance
  • measuring outcomes.

Activities in the educational activities category are worth one credit per hour. Activities under the reviewing performance and measuring outcomes categories are worth three credits per hour.

Your annual CPD requirement is still a minimum of 100 credits. Each category is capped at 60 credits. You do not need to record credits in all three categories.

You can continue to choose which CPD activities to complete as long as you can record a minimum of 14 hours of activities that review performance and/or measure outcomes.

Further details are available on the CPD webpage.

Resources are available to assist you with meeting the new requirements including:

The CPD Team are happy to answer your questions. If you need further information or advice, please contact them on 1300 697 227 or via email.


Pomegranate Podcasts

Pomegranate Health is RACP’s award-winning podcast that explores compelling questions about the culture of medicine. Listen to the interesting discussions between clinicians, researchers and advocates on pertinent and thought-provoking topics. Each episode is developed with the guidance of RACP members, to inspire excellence in practice.

One of our newest episodes Training in the bush sees the podcast team visiting physicians based in Dubbo Base Hospital. The hospital services a catchment of 130,000 people spread across an area the size of Great Britain. Whilst the need in the area is high, Dubbo presents an example of strong clinical leadership and training across numerous specialties.

Past topics include:

Subscribe today to be among the first to find out about new episodes. Podcasts are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and any Android podcasting app.

Do you have an idea you want to discuss, or just want to give some feedback? Email us

Bank beating exchange rates on your global money transfers

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Why OFX?

  • $0 OFX transaction fees on ALL transfers over $250 AUD*
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To access this offer and learn more please go to your RACP Member Advantage website.

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