Pot-pourri eBulletin 13 December 2021

A message from your President

This month I urge all members to read the November 2021 edition of the Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health. This edition of the Journal is given over entirely to the problem of climate change and its effects on children, and importantly offers hope and positivity as well as evidence-based facts. As contributor Dr Karen Kiang states in her article on sustainability in the health-care sector, “If done well, sustainable climate-smart health care offers opportunities for financial, environmental, and social gains – a ‘triple win’.“ This edition of the Journal is informative and critical reading to further educate and advocate in this space.

Following recommendations by the PCHD Research Committee, we introduced the Paediatric Small Study Grants, awarding up to A$20,000 to members conducting research. I am pleased to advise that we received 21 applications and following rigorous review, three trainees were awarded the grant. Congratulations Dr Davina Buntsma, Dr David Youssef and Dr Lucy Loft. It is fantastic to see trainees involved in the research space and I look forward to hearing the results of your work.

Pleasing progress has been made in delivering the 2021 Divisional Clinical Examination (DCE) despite the challenges of a large candidate cohort and variable COVID-19 impacts across our exam sites. The 2021 PCH DCE was successfully delivered in the traditional format (face-to-face same day Long and Short Cases) in Aotearoa New Zealand from 28 to 30 May 2021 with 38 candidates and an overall pass rate of 76.3 per cent. In Australia the DCE has been successfully delivered in the modular format (virtual Long Cases and face-to-face Short Cases on different days) in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Western Australia. In New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory all candidates have completed the Long Case component. Due to significant COVID-19 impacts during the examination window, delivery of the Short Case component has been postponed to early 2022.

On behalf of the PCHD, I sincerely thank all of you involved in the examination process for going above and beyond to ensure that despite significant challenges, our 2021 DCE cohort had the opportunity to sit their exam and progress to Advanced Training.

The Council met with Dr Sarah McMahon, Chair of the PCHD Assessment Committee regarding the examination rosters and 2022 plans for assessors and trainees.

I would particularly like to thank Dr McMahon, our National Examining Panel members and all examiners who play a critical role in this important assessment activity. Being an examiner is a fulfilling and rewarding experience and I would like to encourage more of you to consider participating. We need to continue to build and strengthen our National Examining Panel and our pool of examiners to enable delivery of the DCE moving forward. Please reach out to your State Coordinator or the Assessment and Selection Team at the College if you would like to know more about how you could get involved. Exam planning is underway for the 2022 PCH DCE with the timings and formats to be published in the coming weeks. Please contact examinations@racp.edu.au to express your interest in becoming an examiner over the next year.

Last month the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Council met for the final time this year. Associate Professor Asha Bowen attended to speak on RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group (ERG) activities and vaccination of children. Associate Professor Bowen is a clinician-researcher at Perth Children’s Hospital and Head of Skin Health at the Telethon Kids Institute. She is one of the paediatric representatives on the ERG. Vaccination of children will be a major advance in the new year with the recent announcement from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) providing provisional approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. We await the recommendations and further advice to come from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Please visit the College COVID-19 webpages for additional information.

It will be essential for all of us to continue preparing for ongoing changes over the next six to 12 months, as the COVID-19 virus evolves. In particular, the urgency to achieve the highest levels of vaccination in our respective communities, given the very sobering outcomes in patients with haematological malignancies or who are immunosuppressed for a variety of conditions. We need to consider how we support the wellbeing and protection of patients, how we will enable individuals to function and live with the virus in schools and their communities, and how best to raise matters related to children and young people for consideration in our advocacy and policy making.

 On Saturday, 4 December 2021 the College Convocation Ceremony for Fellows in Perth was held at Winthrop Hall. There were 15 new PCHD Fellows in 2021 and 75 Fellows attended the ceremony. It was very impressive to see so many relatives and friends at this important ceremony. The College Medal was awarded to Professor Doug Bridge, and we were given a local address by Professor Peter Connaughton.

As the year draws to a close, I want to thank members of the PCHD Council for their continued efforts and hard work. COVID-19 has brought many challenges, but we have been able to work together and be a voice for children.

I wish everyone a happy, safe and restful holiday. 

Kind regards,

Professor Catherine Choong
PCHD President

Expressions of interest

We encourage you to contribute to your College with your valued skills and experience.

Safe training environments: addressing bullying, harassment and discrimination

Many of us are aware of ongoing reports from our members which indicate bullying, harassment, discrimination, and uncivil behaviours are significant issues within medicine.

Hostile interactions in training and work environments negatively impact safe patient care, lead to psychological stress and inhibit learning.

The RACP ethos holds that respect and care for our patients and colleagues is of the utmost importance.

The RACP has an unambiguous responsibility to lead, promote, and support members in delivering safe patient care and facilitating positive learning environments.

In response to these reports, the Safe Training Environments Summit on Friday, 5 November 2021 brought together members of the College Education Committee, College Trainees’ Committee, and invited guests to collaborate and agree on a strategic approach to tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination in training environments.

We were grateful to hear from Dr Sally Langley, President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, regarding their approach to dealing with bullying, harassment, and discrimination in surgical training programs. Summit participants worked together to explore the root causes of these issues and prioritise key strategic areas where the RACP can take action.

In coming months, the RACP will be developing and sharing with you a strategic action plan to support this important work.

Physicians have a critical leadership role in setting the tone and behaviour of healthcare teams to foster respectful behaviour and attitudes. We call on you to be involved and join us in creating safe work and training environments.

Associate Professor Mitra Guha AM                       Dr Davina Buntsma
Chair, College Education Committee                       Chair, College Trainees’ Committee

Pomegranate Health Podcast

Episode 76: Making Amends - Medical Injury Part 3

PomPod ep76Making Amends - Medical Injury Part 3 (Ep76) is the third podcast in a series about medical injury. In the first podcast - Saying Sorry - Medical Injury Part 1 (Ep74) - we talked about what patients and their families want to hear after an iatrogenic injury, and how practitioners can provide victims of adverse healthcare incidents with the comfort they seek.

In the second podcast - Feeling Guilty - Medical Injury Part 2 (Ep75) – we explored the guilt that can come about from having caused harm, and the cognitive dissonance this creates in one’s professional identity as a healer.

We also heard how fear of medicolegal suits is a major obstacle to greater transparency, at least in Australia, where litigation is virtually the only way for victims to get financial compensation for their hardship and ongoing care. While Aotearoa New Zealand, by contrast, operates a no-fault compensation scheme where all such costs are born by the government.

In Making Amends - Medical Injury Part 3 (Ep76) we’ll look at the advantages this system has, for patients and practitioners, and also some of the issues that remain unresolved.


  • Associate Professor Marie Bismark FAFPHM (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne).

  • Associate Professor Katharine Wallis FRACGP FACRRM (Head, Primary Care Clinical Unit, University of Queensland)

Note: We are looking for new members to join the Podcast Editorial Group for 2022.

Key responsibilities are to:

  • discuss potential new podcast topics and prioritise them for development

  • for a chosen topic, suggest themes to explore and people to interview

  • listen to audio drafts and provide feedback to the producer to improve it before publication.

If you are interested in joining the RACP Podcast Editorial Group, please complete the application form and return by email to podcast@racp.edu.au. Applications close Monday, 31 January 2022.

Transcripts and supporting references are available on the Pomegranate Health website.

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox or any podcasting app.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD.

Discover RACP Online Learning

We understand that you’re busy and that’s why our online courses are created to allow you to dip in and out, or just do the parts that are relevant to you. Developed by members, for members, the interactive nature of our online courses enables you to learn from your peers.

Covering important professional and clinical topics, such as ethics, cultural competence, communication skills, genomics, quality and safety, plus more, RACP Online Learning is free for members and counts towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

This prize is awarded for excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and oral presentation at the RACP Congress. One Fellow and one trainee may each be awarded A$750 and a certificate.

See the website for further details. Abstract submissions close Friday, 4 February 2022.

Seeking your input to develop our new International Strategy

A new five-year RACP International Strategy is being developed, and we are seeking your advice and input.

We want to know what you are doing in the international space, what you feel the College should be doing, and how you view the future role of the RACP internationally.

Please take time to reflect and advise on the following:

  • What activities are you involved with in the international space that involve (or should involve) the College?
  • What do you think is important in shaping the future role of the RACP internationally?

Please email your responses to international@racp.edu.au.

Focus areas of international engagement

We have identified three focus areas of international engagement by the College and its members:

  • Learn through partnership – including benchmarking, research and teaching collaborations with selected international colleges and similar entities
  • Trusted provider – micro-credentialling, educational provider, expert resource to doctors world-wide, but especially in our region
  • Global health supporter (LMIC) – we have rich and historical links with partner countries in our region. These are guided by RACP engagement principles:
  • Are we wanted/have we been asked for assistance?
  • Is there an identified need that supports and builds capacity?
    • Local clinicians
    • Builds the in-country health system
  • Is the engagement robust and sustainable?
  • Will it displace an existing, functioning activity?
  • Does it use the College’s core capability in postgraduate training?

Find out more about RACP International Strategy.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – November 2021 issue

The November edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – 'Effects of climate change on children' is now live on the Wiley Online Library website.

RACP Foundation Awards 

RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize

The RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend the 2022 RACP Congress to gain educational and networking opportunities and exposure to career pathways within the College.

Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before the deadline on Monday, 31 January 2022. See the website for further details.

Rue Wright Memorial Award

This award is given to the presenter who best demonstrates excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to community child health in an oral presentation at the RACP Congress. The chosen presenter receives A$1,500 and a certificate.

See the website for further details. Abstract submissions close Friday, 4 February 2022.

Updated AFRM Position Statement on the Use of Stem Cell Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

The AFRM Stem Cells Working Group has completed the update of the Position Statement on the Use of Stem Cell Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy based on a review of peer-reviewed literature.

Currently, health professionals lack summary information about current medical research to enable informed discussion. The purpose of the updated position statement is to provide a brief introduction of stem cells, a concise summary of the current clinical research landscape on stem cell treatments for cerebral palsy and recommendations to support discussion between physicians and their patients.

The key contents of the updated position statement contain:

  • a summary of recommendations
  • types, sources and current clinical use of stem cells
  • the use of stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy
  • current research available for families and health professionals
  • implications for families


Sweeping change or incremental steps?

RACP Congress 2022 is bringing together a packed program that explores the ideas of what specialists can do to bring about positive change and the best approaches to achieve this. Hear from Keynote speaker Dr Sandro Demaio as he draws on his background and personal experiences in the session, and how health promotion is helping to rebuild a healthy population.

We explore what more we can be doing in the session, improving the workforce and support for rural and remote communities, and reflect on the global game changing lessons learnt during COVID-19.

Don’t miss your early bird discount.

There is still time to secure your early bird discount for RACP Congress. To do so, simply register for either an in-person or virtual ticket before Friday, 31 December 2021.

Explore the RACP Congress 2022 program.


Raise awareness of your research

One of the features of RACP Congress is the opportunity to share your research with a broad audience. You are now able to submit your abstracts for consideration for RACP Congress 2022. Don’t miss this chance to raise awareness of your work. 

Join the Policy Reference Group

If you want to be more involved in shaping the College’s policy and advocacy activities, consider joining the Policy Reference Group (PRG). The RACP regularly consults, collaborates and partners with Fellows and trainees through the PRG.

College PRGs allow members to engage with the policy and advocacy (P&A) activities in ways other than joining a formal College Body. We understand that members’ time is limited and we need to provide options that work around busy schedules and varied needs. By joining the PRG members are kept informed of P&A activities such as calls for input to College submissions, positions and policies, opportunities to apply to be representatives on College and external bodies, and alerts to advocacy campaigns on relevant health issues.

To help amplify the voice of your profession through advocacy activities within your own networks and aimed at key decision-makers, please email PAOps@racp.edu.au and express your interest.

International Society for Social Paediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP) eBulletin

ISSOP promotes knowledge of social paediatrics to stimulate research in this field, disseminates such knowledge at meetings and works together with national and international agencies. Check out the latest issue of the ISSOP eBulletin.

Victorian Coroner’s Findings in Anaphylaxis Case

We draw your attention to an important extract from the Victorian Coroner’s Findings into the anaphylaxis death of a young person. Please be aware of the coroner’s recommendation directed to RACP members outlined below.

Coroner Bracken recommended that, in order to reduce the risk of harm associated with food allergies and anaphylaxis RACP members be aware of the dangers and consider referring all patients (especially children and young persons) who present with food allergies to a specialist immunologist or immunology clinic such as that at the Royal Children's Hospital for assessment and management of such allergies.

Click here for the case findings.

Further refinements to the regulation of personalised medical devices

Under the changes to the regulation of personalised medical devices that came into effect on 25 February 2021 almost all medical devices previously supplied under the custom-made medical device exemption will now meet the definition of a patient-matched medical device.

For devices that meet this new definition suppliers will need to either:

  • include the devices in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before they are supplied, or
  • register patient-matched medical devices for transition to inclusion on the ARTG and apply for inclusion in the ARTG by 1 November 2024

We would now like to draw your attention to further refinements that have been made to the regulation of personalised medical devices with the introduction of the Therapeutic Goods Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 3) Regulations 2021.

The Amendment:

  • extends the deadline for stakeholders to register a patient-matched medical device for transition to inclusion in the ARTG by 12 months to 25 August 2022.
  • introduces an exemption for patient-matched medical devices that are supplied in very low volumes, allowing up to five (5) of a kind of patient-matched medical device to be supplied a year without an inclusion in the ARTG.

The following web pages and guidance documents have been updated to reflect these refinements:

These refinements seek to address stakeholder concerns over their ability to meet their regulatory obligations and continue supplying personalised medical devices. Further consultation, both targeted and public, will be conducted to identify further refinements that could be made to ensure personalised medical devices are safe and fit for their intended purpose without imposing unnecessary administrative or regulatory burden. More information about these activities will be made available as work progresses.

Australian Prescriber

The December 2021 edition of Australian Prescriber, an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on drugs and therapeutics for health professionals is out now.

The latest edition Includes articles on:

  • Medical abortion in primary care
  • Non-anaemic iron deficiency
  • Top 10 drugs 2020-21

Read the full issue.

Appraisal by the Medical Services Advisory Committee

Scheduled agenda items for the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Meeting –
31 March to 1 April 2022.

Application 1354.1 – Intravascular ultrasound guided coronary stent insertion

Application 1613 – Permanent acute coronary syndrome event detector (insertion, removal or replacement of) for monitoring of the heart's electrical activity

Application 1614.1 - Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of medically refractory essential tremor

Application 1646 – Whole genome sequencing of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens

Application 1669 – KRAS G12C variant testing to determine eligibility for PBS-subsidised sotorasib second-line therapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non small cell lung cancer

Application 1673 – Single operator, single use, peroral cholangiopancreatoscopy for diagnosis of indeterminate biliary strictures and removal of difficult biliary stones

Application 1678 - Integrating practice pharmacists into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (The IPAC Project)

Application 1679 – Improved medication management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Feasibility Study (IMeRSe Feasibility Study)

Application 1695 – Procedures for the implantation and refill-exchange of the Port Delivery System with ranibizumab to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Application 1699 - National Lung Cancer Screening Program

Consultation input

MSAC values consultation input from individuals and organisations with an interest in an application that it is considering, including experience of the medical conditions, services or technologies being addressed by the application.

Consultation input must be received by no later than Friday, 11 February 2022 for it to be considered by MSAC at its March/April 2022 meeting. A Consultation Survey Form is available on the relevant application webpage.

For more information regarding MSAC, including how to apply for a new MBS item or a change to an existing MBS item, status of reviews and completed reports, or subscribing to the email bulletin, please refer to the MSAC website or contact the Health Technology Assessment Access Point via:

MSAC website: www.msac.gov.au
Email: hta@health.gov.au


Save the Date - Paediatric Conference

DFTB 2022Sunday, 28 August to Wednesday, 31 August 2022 - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Engage with thought leaders from across the spectrum of paediatric and emergency care to share ideas that we can all use to level up or care for kids.

Website: https://dftb22.com/

Contact: registration@dontforgetthebubbles.com

Australian and New Zealand Affiliate of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: Improving Diagnosis Conference – Virtual, 28-29 April 2022

Previously known as the Australasian Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference, the Improving Diagnosis conference will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Affiliate of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (ANZA-SIDM).

ANZA-SIDM will bring together diverse multidisciplinary groups including researchers, patients, physicians, surgeons, radiologists, paramedics, linguists, psychologists, medical administrators, and others, all dedicated to the subject of making diagnosis safer.

The conference will be held virtually on 28-29 April 2022. For further details please go to the Improving Diagnosis Conference webpage.

Health Sector Women's Leadership Summit

Created by Australia’s leading authority on women’s leadership, Women & Leadership Australia, The Australian Health Sector Women’s Leadership Summit is a major new online event for women leaders at all levels and across all facets of the health sector.

Guiding our health sector organisations through the coronavirus pandemic and continuing to prioritise patient care has placed extraordinary demands on leaders across Australia and the world.

The world as we knew it has changed, and for some, a level of ambiguity will remain. This critical juncture presents a timely opportunity to reflect and learn from our recent experience and rethink the way we do things.

The Summit supports leadership development through strategic industry-based networking, targeted skills development, and opportunities for leaders to share their experiences. The Summit will also provide access to an unparalleled group of inspirational women leaders and role models.

This interactive, online event will feature inspirational keynote presentations, expert workshops, panel discussions, participant breakout sessions and discussion forums.

Date and time:

  • Friday, 25 March 2022
  • Attendee registration will commence at 8:40am (AEDT)
  • Summit sessions will conclude at 3.40pm (AEDT)

Fees and registration:
To launch this exciting event, we are offering the first 100 delegates an incredible Super Saver registration rate of A$295 + GST (standard rate is A$695 + GST).

Click here to register for the event or find out more about the Summit.
Register for your Super Saver ticket via this link.

Australian and New Zealand Affiliate of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: Improving Diagnosis Conference

Announcing new dates for the ANZA-SIDM Improving Diagnosis Conference.

Having been postponed due to COVID-19, the conference will be taking place virtually from 28 - 29 April 2022, AEST.

Previously known as the Australasian Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference, the Improving Diagnosis conference will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Affiliate of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (ANZA-SIDM).

ANZA-SIDM will bring together diverse multidisciplinary groups including researchers, patients, physicians, surgeons, radiologists, paramedics, linguists, psychologists, medical administrators, and others, all dedicated to the subject of making diagnosis safer.

The conference theme is: Embracing Challenges and Change.

 For more information, visit the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine website.

Pot-pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Update your details with the College

Did you know that you can update your address details online? Simply log into MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.
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