Pot-pourri newsletter 15 April 2016

President's message

Thank you to all who voted in the recent elections. I am pleased to announce that Professor Paul Colditz has been elected to be President-Elect for the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) until 2018, after which he will take up the role of President through to May 2020.

The next four years will no doubt see many changes and I am sure Paul is up to the task. Thank you to Dr Paul Bauert who also stood-it’s good to see an increasing number of people putting up their hands to be involved with the governance of the Division. As many of you know, Professor Paul Colditz has a long history of engagement with the College, including representation on the RACP Board and PCHD Council for the last two years, and I am confident that he will continue to provide excellent leadership for the paediatrics and child health community at the College.

On Thursday, 7 April I attended the College’s EVOLVE forum with a number of other Fellows to discuss the roll out of the EVOLVE program, share experiences and discuss issues around the implementation and rollout of each specialties’ final ‘low value indication’ list. The forum’s principle focus was on stakeholder engagement and implementation processes. We had the opportunity to hear about the experiences of specialties that have completed their lists and how they are tackling the issue of raising awareness of their findings in their communities. Dr Hong Du was part of a panel discussion about how the paediatric list is being worked on. The lessons learned from the forum will be applied to the EVOLVE process currently being undertaken in general paediatrics by the Division.

As many of you are aware we will be updating Division members on our progress on EVOLVE, and inviting them to comment on a range of ‘low value’ indications in general paediatrics at RACP Congress. The paediatrics program has been finalised, and includes a range of interesting and diverse sessions. I encourage you to consider attending and remind those of you who have participated in at least two of the last five Congress events that a special VIP rate, at a significant discount to the general registration rate, is available.

Finally, I bring to your attention a paper recently published by our colleagues, including PCHD Immediate Past-President Associate Professor Sue Moloney, proving that there is life after the Presidency, something that I am very glad to hear.  The paper, published in Child Abuse & Neglect is titled ‘Female genital mutilation: Survey of paediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes and practice’ by Premala Sureshkumar, Yvonne Zurynski, Susan Moloney, Shanti Raman, Nesrin Varol and Elizabeth J. Elliott . Congratulations to all involved.

Dr Nicki Murdock
PCHD President

College advocacy on alcohol

Although alcohol is undeniably a part of the Australian and New Zealand social fabric, the impact of excessive consumption is well documented, and can have serious effects on neonatal, child and adolescent well-being.

One of the issues around the consumption of alcohol is the impact it can have on fetal development and the possible incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

FASD encompass a broad range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems that are lifelong and range from severe intellectual impairment and major birth defects to subtle learning and developmental disorders. Children with FASD may have low birth weight, distinctive facial features, heart and other birth defects, growth delay, hearing and visual impairment, behavioural problems and intellectual disability.

Measuring the occurrence of FASD in Australia and New Zealand can be difficult , but evidence suggests that incidents of the disorders are unevenly spread among Australia’s population, with a higher prevalence among Indigenous communities in Northern Australia.

Alcohol abuse also has a developmental impact on children in disrupted households. The Centre for Alcohol Policy Research reported in 2010 that in Australia approximately 20,000 children were victims of alcohol influenced domestic violence, and similar impacts have been reported in New Zealand. Alcohol consumption among adolescents has also been linked to increased physical and mental harm.

In March the College, in partnership with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, released its updated Alcohol Policy, which provides a comprehensive overview of the significant and varied harms associated with alcohol, while making recommendations for addressing these harms. The document examined the effects on all members of the population, but made specific reference to the impact of FASD, the link between alcohol marketing (particularly during sports broadcasting) and the prevalence of underage drinking, and issues relating to the affordability and accessibility of alcohol in the community.

The document proposed a wide range of recommendations to address some of the more damaging impacts of alcohol abuse, and the College has supplemented the report with submissions and public statements. These advocate for regulatory reform to manage community access to alcohol with the goal of mitigating some of the worst impacts of alcohol abuse on the community, including children and young people.

Read more about the work the College is doing on alcohol and download the Alcohol Policy.

RACP System Maintenance - week of 18 April

Late next week, all RACP web-based systems will undergo a period of maintenance, and during this time you will not be able to log on to access any features.

 We anticipate only minimal disruption to our members.

The timing of the system down-time will be communicated mid-week.

Late next week was chosen for the maintenance as the most minimally disruptive time.

For the small number of you who may be scheduled to use the website to complete essential tasks such as payments late next week, the College will bear in mind the system’s temporary unavailability.
It will not impede your general progress through training or any other activities. 

We apologise for any inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding.

If you do have any queries please email memberservices@racp.edu.au

Expressions of Interest

Get involved: Input sought for College’s submission to the Government’s Consultation on the draft National Digital Health Strategy, closes 19 April

The College is developing a response to the Australian Federal Department of Health’s draft National Digital Health Strategy and is seeking member feedback.

This will replace the previous 2008 Australian National eHealth Strategy and will be presented to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee (AHMAC) prior to seeking Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council endorsement. The new Australian Digital Health Agency, currently being established, will take responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy

To request a copy of the draft document, please email racpconsult@racp.edu.au or call Ansari Abudeen on +61 2 8076 6330.

To provide your feedback please complete a short survey or alternatively email your comments toracpconsult@racp.edu.au.

Due to the tight timeframe given to the College, your feedback is required by COB Tuesday, 19 April 2016.

EOI: Opportunity to provide expert review services to Medibank Private, closes 19 April

Medibank Private Limited (Medibank) is seeking independent contractors to provide medical expert review services for their Hospital Acquired Complications process.

The term of appointment is for two years, with the option for Medibank to offer an extension of one additional two year period (a total of four years). 

The role of the medical expert is to prepare a report that identifies whether the hospital:

  •  treated the complication with the seriousness expected of a high priority complication
  • followed appropriate guidelines for the care of that patient
  • provided or withheld treatment that would otherwise have avoided the complication.

It is anticipated that each referral will take up to two hours to review and generate an opinion, and each expert is expected to be able to review three to four cases per month. 

To apply for the role of medical expert, please contact Medibank directly at david.rankin@medibank.com.au by 5pm Tuesday, 19 April 2016.

Please attach a current CV, contact details and cover letter about why you would be interested in the role.

EOI: PBAC Post-market Review of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Medicines, closes 28 April

The College has been invited to nominate a representative to the Reference Group for the Post¬-market Review of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Medicines.

The reviews are being carried out under the Australian Government's post-market monitoring programme, which aims to ensure the continued safe, cost-effective and quality use of, medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Post-market reviews follow a standard process detailed in the Post-market Review Framework, available on the PBS website.

The Reference Groups will provide clinical, technical, consumer and industry advice to inform the reviews. Please download the EOI form for further information. The College Code of Conduct is also available for your information.

If you are interested in representing RACP on this reference group, please send the attached EOI form and a copy of your CV to racpconsult@racp.edu.au by 5pm Thursday, 28 April 2016.

EOI: Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Council – Casual Vacancies, closes 29 April 2016

An opportunity has arisen for casual vacancies on the PCHD Council. Contribute to discussions on education, training and assessment of trainees; continuing professional development; policy and advocacy; overseas trained professionals; research; and workforce as each relates to paediatric and child health.

Read more about the Paediatrics & Child Health Division.

  • The following commitment is required:
  •  two face to face meetings in Sydney per year, generally February and June
  • two teleconference meetings of two hours per year, generally April and November
  • reading time for papers which are delivered about one week before a meeting.

Expressions of interest are now sought for the following casual vacancies:

  • one New Zealand Fellow. 

Further information is outlined in the Position Description and also in the Paediatrics & Child Health Division By-law (PDF: 79KB). Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 29 April 2016.

EOI: PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee – Casual Vacancies, closes 29 April 2016

Would you like to be involved in policy and advocacy matters of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division? An opportunity has become available to join the Division Policy & Advocacy Committee (PPAC), which gives and receives advice on policy and advocacy issues in paediatrics and child health to the Council of the Division and the College Policy & Advocacy Committee. The Committee actively develops, coordinates, implements, and monitors the policy and advocacy interests and activities of the Division.

The Committee meets face-to-face in Sydney, biannually around February/March and August/September, as well as a mid-year and end of year teleconference. The term will commence in May 2016 in line with the College annual general meeting (AGM) and run for two years.

Expressions of interest are now sought for the following casual vacancies:

  • one New Zealand Representative

The position descriptions (including relevant governance documents), PPAC Terms of Reference, and recent PPAC achievements are available on the RACP website.  Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 29 April 2016. Please contact Jessica McCormick with any queries on +61 2 8076 6359.

EOI: RACP Continuing Professional Development Committee Fellowship representatives, closes 30 April

The Continuing Professional Development Committee [CPDC] is seeking to appoint multiple Fellow representatives.

The College Education Committee [CEC] has established the CPD Committee to:

  • set the agenda for CPD program upgrades and resource development to ensure the College CPD program meets the needs of the Fellowship
  • consider, review and make recommendations on a range of CPD resources (including podcasts, practice review materials and face-to-face events
  • identify and facilitate peer review of learning resources suitable for CPD and promote development of learning resources to meet any unmet needs
  • encourage CPD participation through a range of strategies
  • consider and approve minor changes to the MyCPD program (including functional fixes and improvements, aesthetic changes, updates to content)
  • consider and recommend major changes to the MyCPD Program to the CEC (including changes to the MyCPD framework)
  • report to relevant education committees and CEC on statistics and issues arising from CPD participation
  • monitor exceptions to CPD completion
  • consider government regulation on CPD and revalidation in Australia and New Zealand and recommend program and policy change to CEC where appropriate
  • work with the Office of the Dean, other College bodies and Specialty Societies to support Fellows’ ongoing learning.

The CPDC meets up to three times a year face-to-face with up to four additional teleconference meetings if required. The remaining 2016 meetings are:

  • Friday, 13 May (face-to-face)
  • Friday, 1 July (teleconference)
  • Friday, 9 September (face-to-face)
  • Friday, 11 November (teleconference)

Valuable (but not essential) experience includes:

  • faculty Fellowship
  • research experience
  • medical administration experience.

Interested Fellows are asked to complete and submit the EOI form along with a CV by email to MyCPD@racp.edu.au by Saturday, 30 April 2016.

EOI: Membership of the Overseas Trained Physicians (OTP) Paediatrics and Faculties Assessment Subcommittee (Australia) - closes 6 May 2016

Fellows of the College are invited to express their interest in joining the Overseas Trained Physicians (OTP) Paediatrics and Faculties Assessment Subcommittee.

The decisions of OTP Assessment Subcommittees determine which overseas trained physicians can work in Australia, and can have a real impact on health service delivery and quality of care in the Australian health system.

The College is particularly looking to appoint Fellows in Paediatrics subspecialties to join the Subcommittee for a two-year-term. Due to the current composition of the committee, the College would welcome expressions of interest from Fellows in states other than Queensland.

Each Subcommittee meets up to ten times a year by teleconference, with two face-to-face meetings in Sydney.

Download the EOI form.
Download the terms of reference (MIN and password required).

In addition to the EOI form, all applicants should submit their CV and a 500 word statement outlining their interest in the role and relevant experience. All EOI forms should be submitted by email to otp@racp.edu.au and marked 'OTP Subcommittee member Expression of Interest'.

If you have any questions please contact Janice Charlton, Senior Executive Officer, OTP Unit on  +61 2  8247 6287 or email janice.charlton@racp.edu.au

EOI: Chapter of Community Child Health Committee, closes 13 May 2016

The Chapter of Community Child Health Committee is the peak decision making body of the Chapter that includes the domains of child protection, child behaviour and development and child population health. The Chapter fosters the development and accreditation of relevant training programs for doctors in community child health, supports continuing professional development, supports research and special professional interests of doctors working in community child health, and advises the PCHD and College on matters pertaining to community child health.

The Committee meets face-to-face, at the College, twice a year in February/March and September/October as well as a mid-year and end of year teleconference. The term will commence in May 2016 in line with the College AGM and run for two years.

In addition to the three regular appointed members of the Chapter Committee, the Chapter is seeking to add a trainee representative from New Zealand, to encourage greater interaction with this important community group.

Expressions of interest from Chapter members are now sought for the following:

  • three appointed Fellows, resident in Australia
  • one co-opted New Zealand Trainee

The position description and Chapter by-laws, are available on the Chapter webpage. Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 13 May 2016.

EOI: The Early Childhood Position Statement Working Group, closes 13 May 2016

Fellows and trainees are encouraged to submit their expression of interest (EOI) in  joining the RACP ‘Early Childhood Position Statement Working Group’.

Over the last four decades there has been considerable research in the area of early childhood development, and a clearer picture of the effect of the first 1000 days on the subsequent life course is emerging. However, despite some initial enthusiasm and broad commitment to child wellbeing, national implementation of evidence based, adequately funded, ongoing programs has been variable, and many of the potential gains in child health and wellbeing, and the opportunity to reduce the onset of chronic illness in adulthood have yet to be realised.
The RACP has the expertise, opportunity and advocacy skills to make a significant difference to children and to make an impact on the burden of non-communicable disease in adult populations in generations to come.

The Lead Fellow of this working group, Dr Pat Tuohy will report to the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Policy & Advocacy Committee, which has oversight for the development of paediatric related position statements.

The scoping document is available on request.

Representatives with the following skills and experiences will be considered:

  • 5 x PCHD Fellows with interest/experience in early childhood
  • 1 x PCHD trainee with interest/experience in early childhood
  • 1 x PCHD Fellow New Zealand

Submit your brief EOI and CV as well as a completed Conflict of Interest form to paed@racp.edu.au by Friday, 13 May 2016.

EOI: Advanced Training Committee in General Paediatrics – closes 31 May 2016

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General Paediatrics is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from General Paediatrics Fellows to join the ATC as an Appointed Member. The Committee oversees Advanced Training in General Paediatrics.

The ATC meets via teleconference eight times per year, with two face-to-face meetings in Sydney annually. The term of office is for two years, with the option to serve up to a maximum of six years.

Please contact Rebecca Lewis via email on GeneralPaedsAdvanced@racp.edu.au to obtain an EOI form.  Please submit your EOI form and CV by COB Tuesday, 31 May 2016.

Career opportunities


Private Specialist Paediatrician

Reference number: V-058353

Paediatric Registrar/Senior House Officer: Gold Coast University Hospital

Two six month positions are available at the Gold Coast University Hospital commencing 1 August 2016. For more information email and to submit a CV email  Sally.Clarke@health.qld.gov.au

Director of Paediatrics

Reference number: V-065717


Staff Specialist Paediatrician

Reference number: V-065885

New Zealand

Surgical Fellow 2016 - Paediatric Cardiology: Starship Children's Health

Reference number: 093879
Closing date: Friday, 29 April 2016

Senior Paediatric Cardiology Fellow: Green Lane Paediatric & Congenital Cardiac Service, Starship Children’s Hospital

Reference number: 085676
Closing date: Friday, 22 April 2016


Locum Paediatrician: Health Specialists Ltd

Available from 1 April to 31 December 2016.
For more information email Melissa Fidow, Project Manager, Health Specialists Limited at melissa@healthspecialists.co.nz

Conferences and events

Conference: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Australia is Everyone’s Business
29 April 2016, Sydney

Venue: Australian Human Rights Commission, 175 Pitt Street Sydney
Date: Friday, 29 April 2016 10am – 4:30pm
Cost: $60 (inclusive of lunch); no charge for community members.
Registrations are essential as places are limited. Registrations close Tuesday, 26 April 2016
This event is hosted by the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) and NO FGM Australia.
For further information call Dannielle on +61 2 9845 3005 or email Dannielle.Handel@health.nsw.gov.au

Emerging Themes in Pain Research Forum
20 May 2016, Melbourne

Venue: Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct Lecture Theatre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne
Date: Friday, 20 May 2016
For more information, see the event website.

Monash Children’s Hospital’s 13th Paediatric Update - Clinical Conundrums 
3 June 2016, Clayton, Victoria

This event is aimed at consultant paediatricians, with speakers asked to address clinical questions relevant for generalists and sub-specialists. It’s also relevant to trainees who are welcome to attend at a reduced rate.

Venue: Monash Medical Centre
Date: Friday, 3 June 2016
For further information and to register visit the website.

XVIIIth Nepalese Congress of Paediatrics (NEPCON-2016)
16 to 18 June 2016, Nepal

Venue: Rastriya Sabha Griha, Exhibition Road, Kathmandu, Nepal
Date: Thursday, 16 to Saturday, 18 June 2016
For more information visit the Congress website.

The Teaching Course - a medical education extravaganza
11 to 15 July 2016, Melbourne

Venue: Rydges Melbourne
Date: Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 July 2016
For further information visit the event website.

International Conference on Pediatric Care and Pediatric Infectious Disease
24 to 25 August 2016, Philadelphia, USA

Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia
Date: Wednesday, 24 to Thursday, 25 August 2016
For more information visit the conference website.

14th National Conference of Pediatric Rheumatology
26 to 28 August 2016, Bangalore

Venue: NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bangalore
Date: Friday, 26 to Sunday, 28 August 2016
For more information visit the event website.

The Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day

The Annual Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day is a forum that promotes an understanding of contemporary matters of child health. This year the Satellite Day is being held on Sunday, 15 May 2016 at the RACP Adelaide Office located on Level 2, 257 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide.

The day will begin with a presentation from Professor Graham Vimpani titled ‘Lumping vs Splitting – Lessons from the early years'.

Dr Melanie Jansen will discuss permanency planning for children in child protection system and Dr Lesley McGregor will talk about using genomics to solve complex cases.

The day is a fantastic opportunity to network with peers and anyone interested in community child health. Non-members of the Chapter are also encouraged to attend.

Come along and join community child health colleagues for a day of knowledge sharing, networking and fun.

To register visit the Congress 2016 website.

Congress 2016 - Paediatrics highlights

The 2016 RACP Congress takes place in Adelaide, South Australia from Monday, 16 to Wednesday, 18 May 2016.

Your dedicated Paediatrics and Child Health Physicians committee has structured a highly informative program, with the full program available by clicking on the program tab on the front page of Congress website. Highlights include:

Sexual Health Workshop

Staying safe – sex and the under sixteens: an interactive case based workshop
After a brief introduction, four different cases of sexually active teenagers and discussions on the sexual and reproductive issues faced by these young people and the role paediatricians play in supporting them. This will be an interactive session where participants will be given the opportunity to actively engage in the discussion.

NDIS: an opportunity for physicians, paediatricians and our patients

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the most significant reform of disability services in Australia in decades. Physicians and paediatricians will have patients in the NDIS, and will need to be equipped to advocate for these patients within this system. While the NDIS is not designed to fund health services, this session will explore the implications of the scheme for the health of patients with disabilities. It will also feature an update on the work the RACP is doing to prepare for the rollout. This presentation will address all aspects of the test program, the health aspects in particular.

This year Congress attendees can enjoy discounted registration rates and can claim two credits per hour under MyCPD Category 2: Group Learning Activates (up to the cap of 50 credits).

Register through the Congress 2016 website.

Closing Soon – Applications for 2016 Study Grants

Applications for all Study Grants close: Tuesday, 26 April (11.59pm AEST)

Visit the RACP Foundation for full details of all awards currently being offered. Please contact the Senior Administration Officer or phone +61 2 9256 9639 for any queries regarding the eligibility criteria or application process.

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Notices

The TGA recently published information regarding influenza vaccines for 2016.

The statements can be found on the TGA website.

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