Pot-pourri eBulletin 28 May 2021

President's Message

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June 2021). This year’s theme is 'More than a word. Reconciliation takes action', which urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action and asks supporters to remember the importance of privileging and amplifying First Nations’ voices when calling for reconciliation and justice. This is the perfect time to encourage all members to watch the recently uploaded webinar: RACP Statement on Indigenous Child Health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand – where to from here? It explores the key concepts and recommendations contained in the RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and provides an opportunity for participants to ask questions and explore the next steps in healthcare for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori children. It’s available via RACP Medflix now – access this and other content via your regular RACP login details.

In August last year Gymnastics Australia engaged the Australian Human Rights Commission to conduct an independent review of the culture and practice at all levels of the sport of gymnastics in Australia. This review resulted in the release of Change the Routine: Report on the Independent Review into Gymnastics in Australia (2021).  This thought-provoking report should renew our own personal commitments as paediatricians to protecting the health and wellbeing of children and young people engaged in sport, and in particular, bring attention to the risk for acute and long-term injury and psychological harm for those children involved in competitive sport. I am pleased to see that there is a helpful child-friendly version available to help discuss these issues with children and young people engaging in gymnastics. I encourage members to read the Change the Routine report.

Congratulations to Professor Kevin Forsyth and Professor Susan Sawyer on their recent election to the International Pediatric Association Standing Committee. Kevin was elected as the representative of the International Pediatric Academic Leaders Association and Susan as the International Association for Adolescent Health representative. This is fantastic news for Australia and I wish them the best in these roles.

A physician advocacy self-paced online course is due to be released at the end of 2021. A crucial part of that course is now available online: a five-episode mini documentary series, ‘The Advocate’s Journey’, which follows Dr Robert Lethbridge, a paediatric respiratory and sleep physician at Perth Children’s Hospital, a Fellow of the RACP and an advocate, as he sets out to interview some well-known physicians who have taken the leap into advocacy and achieved remarkable outcomes from their work. Interviewees include Dr Helen Young, Professor Fiona Stanley, Dr Graeme Edwards and other respected advocates and experts.

I encourage all members who are interested in advocacy, or already passionately involved advocates, to view this fantastic documentary series. Each of the five videos is approximately 12 to 15 minutes long and offers personal and highly valuable insights into how to advocate for our patients and their families. You can access the documentary series now by logging in (use your RACP login details) to the College’s e-learning series here, at The Advocate’s Journey. More information about the online course will be released via that page later in the year and will be promoted via this eBulletin, so stay tuned.

A reminder to members that the June webinar for the Chapter Satellite series will feature Dr Jeffrey Goldhagen, President, International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP); you can register via the RACP website. The Rue Wright Memorial Award abstracts are now open, applications due by Friday, 10 September 2021.

Professor Catherine Choong
PCHD President

COVID-19 vaccines   

On 20 May 2021, Australia recorded the largest single day of 101,146 COVID-19 vaccine doses with a total of over 3.47 million administered. As of 19 May 2021, Aotearoa New Zealand have administered a total of 474,436 COVID-19 vaccine doses.  

The RACP has been concerned about the slow rollout and hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccines and is keen to support the momentum of increasing the uptake of vaccinations.

The RACP urges members to encourage eligible patients to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. To assist members please see below a suite of available resources and information on COVID-19 vaccines:


Aotearoa New Zealand

We regularly share updates and resources including from the Australian Government Department of Health and the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Health on the RACP COVID-19 webpage.

Australian Government Department of Health update to Medicare Billing in Public Hospitals

The Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) has updated its Medicare Billing in Public Hospitals webpage in response to feedback received from peak bodies, including the College. The webpage contains guidance material to strengthen provider education on appropriate Medicare billing in public hospitals. This includes case studies to clarify appropriate referrals following episodes of hospital care and the hospital’s responsibility to undertake any testing required for public patients. The feedback has also informed a new set of FAQs, which provide additional clarity on key points raised in the case studies.

The Department thanks peak bodies and clinicians involved in the revision process. If you have further comments or feedback, please contact the department at hospital.compliance@health.gov.au.

RACP Congress 2021 Watch

All recorded sessions from RACP Congress 2021 are now online for viewing

RACP Congress 2021 concluded with the last of the virtual sessions on 20 May 2021. With a total program featuring over 85 sessions, this ambitious event covered a broad range of topics and insightful panel discussions. If you missed a session, such as the Avant Mutual sponsored, 'COVID-19 and kids – what the heck just happened?’ or would like to watch a session again, all recorded sessions will be available for viewing until Friday, 29 October 2021.

For those who didn’t attend, but still wish to view the RACP Congress material, you are able to register for a virtual ticket until Friday, 25 June 2021. You can register at www.racpcongress.com.au.

Rue Wright Memorial Award

Submissions are now open for the Rue Wright Memorial Award and close on Friday, 10 September 2021.

The Rue Wright Memorial Award is presented to the applicant who best demonstrates excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to community child health in an oral presentation. The award is named in honour of Dr Rue Wright who was a significant founder of The Australian Child Health Medical Association (ACHMA). The ACHMA, founded in 1984, was the first Australian association of community child health doctors.

Successful applicants will present for the award at an online event to be held on Tuesday, 26 October 2021. Applications may be made now to the PCHD office at paed@racp.edu.au by Friday, 10 September 2021.

RACP Paediatric Small Study Grants

The Paediatric & Child Health Division introduces the RACP Paediatric Small Study Grants. Multiple grants are available with funding from $5,000 to $10,000 each, which aim to support and encourage clinical paediatric research led by Advanced Trainees and Fellows.

Also available is the Eric Burnard Fellowship, valued up to $10,000, which supports further education in the field of neonatology and/or improving health outcomes of infants.

Applications for these awards under Education Development Grants, as well as other categories including Research Development Grants and Travel Grants are opening on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

Applications for other Research Award categories, including Career Development Fellowships, Research Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships are currently open. Upwards of 50 awards up to a total value of $2.5 million are available across the different award categories.

Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpage for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel in 2017.

This award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as individuals outside the College. However, the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of RACP to be considered.

Details on the application process and selection criteria are available on the RACP website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Conversations with the Board

The Board held its first virtual Conversation with the Board event with members from the Hunter New England (HNE)/Newcastle area on 24 February 2021.

The communique for this Conversation with the Board is available on the RACP website where you will also find previous Conversations

Calling for PCHD Advanced Trainees and Fellows: Join the College Learning Series Editorial Group

Each College Learning Series (CLS) lecture must pass clinical review before it is uploaded. To assist with these reviews, we are currently seeking PCHD Advanced Trainees and Fellows. Interested members are invited to email CLS@racp.edu.au for further information and to apply.

Paediatrician – Review of the ACHS Paediatrics Clinical Indicator Report 22nd Edition

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) is seeking a paediatrician at a senior level to review the current Paediatrics Clinical Indicators.

The ACHS, in consultation with colleges, specialty societies and other related stakeholder groups, develops clinical indicators for the health industry and reports the aggregated data collected on these clinical indicators to participating healthcare organisations. Currently, more than 800 healthcare organisations participate in the Clinical Indicator Program across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The ACHS is seeking input from the RACP to provide clinical context for trends and variations based on the Paediatrics indicator data from 2013-2020. The nominated member will be asked to review data provided by ACHS and comment accordingly.


The RACP is looking for a paediatrician at a senior level, preferably a member who is currently practising within the clinical environment, with interest/experience in quality improvement in care delivery to review the current Paediatrics Clinical Indicators in relation to the below:

  1. Are they relevant for clinicians?
  2. Do they remain effective in today’s practice?
  3. Is there consensus of collection and reporting requirement tool?
  4. Do they remain useful for quality improvement?
  5. Should further review or update be needed; if so, who should be included in the multidisciplinary review group?
  6. Any suggestions to encourage the use of the clinical indicators.

Time involved

Up to three hours would be required to review the Paediatrics Clinical Indicator User Manual and Retrospective Full Data Report (eight years). A maximum of 800 words to be supplied by Monday, 19 July 2021.

Expressions of Interest are open until Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Paediatric Overnight OximetryPaediatric Overnight Oximetry

The New Zealand Paediatric Sleep Medicine Clinical network has developed a free online Paediatric Overnight Oximetry course to teach the optimal use of overnight oximetry in the assessment and management of children with either suspected or known Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The course would be ideal for paediatric trainees and paediatricians who wish to learn how to perform, interpret and report paediatric overnight pulse oximetry studies. The learning module is hosted by the Goodfellow Unit's website.

Latest issue of Australian Prescriber

The latest issue of Australian Prescriber includes articles on:

  • eliminating hepatitis C
  • dangers of opioids with antidepressants
  • stopping antiepileptic drugs.

Read the full issue

The Vera Scantlebury Brown Child Welfare Memorial Trust Scholarship 2021

This scholarship is targeted at women working in the area of prenatal, child and family health, development and wellbeing.

In 2021, the value of the scholarship is for costs up to $8,000. More than one scholarship may be awarded.

Applications must be in writing to the Trustees on the approved application form and reach the Coordinator of the Trust on or before the closing date on Sunday, 6 June 2021.

Learn more

Contact: Helen D’Cruz on +61 3 9345 6671 or via email.

Virtual screening event for ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ documentary on Thursday, 24 June 2021, 6pm to 8pm (AEST)

Join Dr Robert Lethbridge as he hosts a virtual live screening of ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ mini-documentary series on Thursday, 24 June 2021, 6pm to 8pm (AEST).

In the documentary, Dr Lethbridge sets out to interview well-known physicians who have taken the leap into advocacy and achieved remarkable outcomes from their work. The five short episodes see Dr Lethbridge conduct engaging interviews with Dr Helen Young, Professor Fiona Stanley, Dr Graeme Edwards and other respected advocates and experts. Throughout the screening you’ll gain valuable insights into becoming a physician advocate, engaging key stakeholders, getting issues on the public agenda, and the results of advocacy.

Register now to watch ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ and hear first-hand from Dr Lethbridge about his experiences working on the documentary.


Watch this short showreel for a sneak preview of what you’ll find on Medflix, home to our extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos. The videos are designed to support members with their lifelong learning and professional development needs and cover a range of clinical and professional topics.

Tune in to Medflix to view more and share.

Aged care: RACP recommendations and Federal Budget response to Royal Commission

A feature of the Federal Budget 2021-22 was its response to the 148 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Commission). The Budget reflected the Government’s acceptance or acceptance-in-principle of 126 of the Commission’s recommendations and its rejection of six. The remaining recommendations are either under consideration or have been supported in other ways.

College members made strong contributions to the Commission through the College’s 2019 submission and the later 2020 submission impact of COVID-19 on aged care.

Of our 56 recommendations in the 2019 submission, only five were not addressed by the Commission, and five were taken up in less direct ways. With the Government’s positive response to the Commission’s recommendations, we anticipate seeing the majority of our recommendations implemented either directly or less directly, which we will monitor.

Some examples of where the Federal Budget has responded to Royal Commission recommendations, consistent with the College’s recommendations, include:

  • improved assessment provisions such as the single assessment process
  • more home care packages
  • improved access to specialists and other health practitioners through multidisciplinary outreach services
  • support to increase the cultural competency of service provider staff, and to address some of the barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people experience in relation to aged care services
  • funding for Primary Health Networks to provide end-user support for the use of telehealth in residential aged care facilities.

Over the next four years of the Budget’s provisions for aged care, the College will continue to advocate for improvements in aged care services as recommended by our contributing College members.

Evolve ‘Top-5’ recommendations on low-value practices in thoracic medicine

We are pleased to announce that during Lung Health Awareness Month, the latest Evolve ‘Top-5’ recommendations on low-value practices in thoracic medicine were launched.

The new Evolve thoracic recommendations span a range of conditions, ranging from common, such as COPD, to rare, such as sarcoidosis.

These recommendations were developed to reduce key low-value tests and interventions in the practice of thoracic medicine but will be of interest and applicable to care provided by clinicians beyond the specialty. The new recommendations say:

  • Do not perform a D-Dimer in patients at high risk of pulmonary embolism.
  • Do not use long term systemic corticosteroids for management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Do not initiate maintenance inhalers in minimally symptomatic COPD patients with a low risk of exacerbation.
  • Do not routinely follow-up solid pulmonary nodules smaller than 6mm detected in low-risk patients.
  • Do not perform a serum ACE for the diagnosis or monitoring of sarcoidosis.

We ask clinicians to think about how these recommendations are relevant to them. Consider:

  • making the recommendations a routine part of clinical handovers
  • including recommendations in education sessions like grand rounds, workshops, clinical case reviews, team meetings and more
  • undertaking a clinical audit and feedback project on a recommendation
  • discussing the recommendations with referring doctors and your multidisciplinary care team
  • undertaking research on the recommendations.

Read and download the recommendations

If RACP Fellows and trainees want to be more involved in shaping Evolve, consider joining the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The RACP regularly consults, collaborates and partners with Fellows and trainees in the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The group plays an important role in leading and shaping Evolve to make it more relevant and fit-for-purpose. Email evolve@racp.edu.au to find out more.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health Volume 57, Issue S1 is available online

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Volume 57, Issue S1, Abstracts for the RACP Congress Series 2021 Transformation: Adapting for the Future, 29 April - 14 May 2021, is now available on the JPC Wiley page.

An early view is also available of future articles.

Expressions of Interest: Australian Government Department of Health seeking RACP representative on Biotoxin-related Illness Advisory Committee

The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) is currently seeking one College representative for the Biotoxin Related Illness Advisory Committee (the Committee), with the DoH determining the final membership.

The DoH is seeking physicians with expertise and experience in the following:

  • general medicine
  • infectious diseases
  • occupational and environmental medicine
  • clinical allergy
  • clinical immunology
  • endocrinology.

The Committee will comprise of representatives from a broad range of allied health and specialist medical fields, as well as consumer representation. Deadline for applications is close of business Wednesday, 9 June 2021.

Learn more

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Career opportunities

Please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.

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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