Pot-pourri eBulletin 21 September 2018

President's Message 

I am pleased to announce the 2019 recipient of the Howard Williams Medal is Professor Lex Doyle.

Professor Doyle is a neonatal paediatrician with a major research interest in evaluating the consequences of neonatal intensive care, including how to improve on that care, and its economic consequences. He has been a chief investigator on numerous randomised controlled trials of interventions before and after birth designed to improve the long-term outcomes for the highest-risk babies, including the tiniest and most immature babies. He is active with several research groups interested in the outcomes for tiny babies well beyond the nursery and into adulthood; these are the Premature Infant Follow-up Program at the Royal Women's Hospital, the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study (VICS) Group, and the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) Group, all based in Melbourne, Australia.

I congratulate Professor Doyle and look forward to his oration at Congress 2019.

The PCHD remains deeply concerned for the health and wellbeing of children on Nauru. This must be a priority for the government and we as paediatricians must remain vigilant and use our voices to advocate for change. I would like to highlight the recent media report from the RACP to the Australian government, it is evident that that Australia’s immigration policy is not in compliance with the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our message remains the same – Australia must end its policies of offshore processing immediately. We will be joining other organisations in highlighting these issues in a new campaign about to commence.

The PCHD Committees have held their face-to-face meetings over the last few weeks with all committees focused on planning for the next two years. I look forward to seeing their plans and working with each committee to assist to deliver projects with major impacts and also to improve member experience and value. 

Professor Paul Colditz
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

New partnership with the Pacific Community 

On Monday, 10 September, the RACP and the Pacific Community (SPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support health frameworks and projects in the region and enhance capacity building in the health sector. 

RACP President, Associate Professor Mark Lane, said the MoU will see the RACP and SPC work together on programs and initiatives, including some rolled out in partnership with other key health organisations such as the World Health Organization.

Read more

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health 

The College has recently been active in advocating for child detainees at the Nauru immigration detention facility who are seriously unwell to be immediately transferred to Australia.

A media statement was released on 28 August and was picked up by radio.  Associate Professor Karen Zwi, a paediatrician and Senior Fellow of the RACP, provided a statement saying that “The conditions, circumstances, and duration of offshore processing have damaged peoples’ health, particularly the health of children and their families,”.

For those who wish to read more about refugee health, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) is available: A rapid review of evidence-based information, best practices and lessons learned in addressing the health needs of refugees and migrants: report to the World Health Organization (2018).


Parliamentary Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia

The Australasian Sleep Association has been talking to the politicians in Canberra in a joint campaign with the Sleep Health Foundation for over 12 months now and are pleased to announce that the Australian Parliament’s House Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport has now commenced an Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia.

The terms of reference for this inquiry, given below, cover many areas that will be of concern to all physicians, and we would encourage individuals and/or specialty societies to make submissions to this important inquiry.

Terms of reference are to inquire into and report on sleep health awareness in Australia, in particular:

  • the potential and known causes, impacts and costs (economic and social) of inadequate sleep and sleep disorders on the community
  • access to, support and treatment available for individuals experiencing inadequate sleep and sleep disorders, including those who are: children and adolescents, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, living in rural, regional and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • education, training and professional development available to healthcare workers in the diagnosis, treatment and management of individuals experiencing inadequate sleep and sleep disorders
  • workplace awareness, practices and assistance available to those who may be impacted by inadequate sleep or sleep disorders, with a focus on: rostering practices for shift workers, heavy-work requirements, and the transport industry as compared to international best practice
  • current national research and investment into sleep health and sleeping disorders.

It is important now that submissions are made into the inquiry. 

The timeline is short (deadline for submissions is 18 October 2018), but the process is relatively easy.  

For further information please visit the Parliament of Australia website.

The Vera Scantlebury Brown Child Welfare Memorial Trust Scholarship 

The Vera Scantlebury Brown Child Welfare Memorial Trust Scholarship was created in 1946 to commemorate the work of Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown, OBE, Director of Maternal Infant and Pre-School Welfare in Victoria from 1926 to 1946. It represents a celebration of Dr Scantlebury Brown’s leadership in the development of female professionals and as such is open to women only. Women who work in the area of prenatal, child and family health, development and wellbeing are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of the scholarship is to enable the successful applicant to undertake further studies or research overseas or in Australia.

Benefits and conditions

  • The recipient will receive up to $6000 

Applications for this Scholarship must be in writing to the Trustees on the approved application form and reach the Secretary to the Trust on or before Friday, 12 October  2018.

For further information click here.

New Ethical Guidelines

The 4th edition of the Guidelines for ethical relationships between physicians and industry is now available. These voluntary guidelines, developed by the RACP Ethics Committee, revise previous editions of the guidelines and seek to support health professionals in identifying, assessing and managing conflicts of interest. 

Read more

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships

Applications for 2019 Scholarships in the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program open from Monday, 1 October  to Friday, 30 November 2018. The scholarships valued up to $40,000, provide a funded pathway through Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training and are offered to medical graduates, junior doctors or trainees who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander heritage, or Māori. The following are available for 2019:

Basic, Advanced or Chapter training

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship in Paediatrics and Child Health
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship

Visit the RACP Foundation webpage for full details of all awards and prizes offered by your Faculty and the College. For more information about the eligibility criteria or the application process, please contact RACP Foundation at Foundation@racp.edu.au or call +61 2 9256 9639.

IMiA registrations are now open 

The 5th International Medicine in Addiction conference will be held from 1 to 3 March 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We look forward to welcoming you for two and a half days of thought-provoking presentations from internationally renowned clinical and research experts, as well as a range of practical workshops. Behavioural aspects of addiction, stress and addiction and the controversies in prescribing and practice are the focus of IMiA 2019.  

To register your attendance, visit www.imia19.com.au. Don’t miss out on a discounted Early Bird rate by securing your ticket before the deadline, 30 November 2018.

Poster abstract submissions are open until Friday, 26 October 2018. This year we are seeking abstracts relevant to the conference themes:

  • behavioural aspects of addiction
  • stress and addiction
  • controversies in prescribing and practice.

Details about how to submit an abstract are on the conference website.

Medicinal Cannabis regulation changes in Queensland

Amendments to the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulation 2017 will enable all specialist medical practitioners in Queensland to prescribe medicinal cannabis without Department of Health approval when treating the following classes of patients: persons with chronic non-cancer pain, persons experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting, terminally ill persons with symptoms associated with terminal illness, children with intractable (drug resistant) epilepsy and persons with multiple sclerosis experiencing spasticity. TGA approval is still required for all unapproved medicinal cannabis products through the Special Access Schemes, Category A or B and the Authorised Prescriber pathway.

Read more

Bushfire Season is approaching, be prepared.

Australia is facing the possibility of having a much longer fire season of about six or seven months, with bushfire season officially starting in October 2018 and running through to April 2019.

Now is the time to prepare for the bushfire season. Click here to see Vero bushfire tips on how to prepare.

Visit your RACP Member Advantage website to find out more or give Vero a call on 1800 250 962 for a quote on home and contents insurance.

Convenient online learning opportunities

Diagnostic Error and Cultural Responsiveness are the focus of two Qstream courses RACP Members can register to undertake throughout November and December.

Participants are emailed case studies, based on real-life clinical scenarios, at spaced intervals. The case studies are designed with the aim of challenging physician thinking and enhancing professional practice.

The courses will run throughout November and December and take as little as five minutes a day, two to three times a week to complete via email. 

Read more


Evolve Research
Are you currently planning to undertake research as part of your Advanced Training? The Evolve recommendations offer an opportunity to undertake research in low-value care in specific health priority topics, such as bronchiolitis, polypharmacy and antimicrobial stewardship. Find out more about Evolve and low-value care research opportunities in your specialty by contacting evolve@racp.edu.au or visit www.evolve.edu.au for more information.

Evolve Clinical Champions 
Are you interested in being involved in Policy & Advocacy within RACP? The Evolve initiative offers an opportunity to advocate for high-value, high-quality care in your specialty. Find out how you can become an Evolve Clinical Champion by contacting evolve@racp.edu.au or visit www.evolve.edu.au for more information. 

Evolve at Conferences 
This year, RACP has presented on Evolve at RACP Congress, Choosing Wisely National Meeting, National Medicines Symposium, ANZSGM, SOMANZ and GESA AGW and are looking forward to attending ASCEPT’s ASM in Adelaide during November. We are inviting specialty societies to express interest in RACP attending an ASM to present on Evolve implementation and/or host an exhibition booth. For more information and to express interest in RACP and Evolve attending your ASM, contact evolve@racp.edu.au.

Have your say on the new Basic Training programs

Have your say on learning, teaching, and assessment in Basic Training

Details about the new Basic Training programs are now available for review on the RACP website until 2 October 2018. This includes information about how the curriculum standards will be taught, learned, and assessed.

Fellows and trainees have been working in partnership with College staff to develop these proposed programs. Your feedback can help ensure that the new Basic Training programs are feasible and fit-for-purpose for implementation across Australia and New Zealand. As this is a public consultation, individuals outside the College who are interested in Basic Training are welcome to give feedback. You are invited to share the consultation with your network, if appropriate.

Have your say on the future of Basic Training.

Use the new Basic Training curricula standards to support your workplace learning

Earlier this year we launched new curricula standards for Basic Physician Training. These standards will start to be assessed in 2020, when the Knowledge Guides will be used as the basis for the 2020 Divisional Written Examinations.

You can now filter the curricula to see specific content relevant to you and export your filtered results to support workplace learning. Click here to try the Workplace Learning Planner.

Please contact curriculum@racp.edu.au with any questions.

Age span of pediatric practice in different countries and settings survey

The International Pediatric Association (IPA) and the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) are undertaking a brief survey to explore the age span of pediatric practice in different countries and settings.  They are particularly interested in how this might be changing with increasing survival of very young children.

This survey will only take 8 to 10 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

Participate here.

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 now update your address details online? Simply Login to MyRACP and go to “Edit my details”.

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