Pot-pourri newsletter 9 February 2018

The RACP Pre-Budget submission calls for sustained investment in child health

The RACP has released its Australian Government 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission, which highlights key areas where new initiatives and sustained investment are needed, including for child and adolescent health, integrated care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and obesity prevention and treatment.

A key focus of the submission is on tackling inequities in child health - differential outcomes in children’s health: development and wellbeing that are unfair, systematic and, most importantly, preventable. Addressing inequities in child health will not only achieve more equitable health and developmental outcomes for children across Australia, but it will also decrease the burden on the health system and help break the intergenerational health effects of inequality.

The submission highlights how the Federal Government can improve equitable access to health services and provide crucial support to families and children experiencing poorer health and developmental outcomes as a result of entrenched disadvantage.

The College also calls on the Australian Government to immediately reinstate the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) subcommittee on child and youth health, and to start reporting annually to Parliament on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Children’s Headline Indicators.

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President's Message

I would like to start by acknowledging the Fellows of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division who were recognised for their outstanding work in the New Zealand New Year Honours list and the Australia Day Honours announced last week. Congratulations to Professor Edwin Mitchell, Dr Renee Liang, Professor Frank Oberklaid, Adjunct Professor Agnes Bankier, Dr Richard Cockington, Dr Tony Weldon and Dr Bo Remenyi. The full list of Fellows honoured on the College website.

Results have been announced for several positions on College bodies, following the recent call for nominations. I would like to warmly congratulate Clinical Professor Catherine Choong on her successful appointment to PCHD President-Elect. Cathy has contributed a great deal to the Division through her work on various Councils and Committees and I’m pleased this will continue into her new position. I would also like to congratulate A/Professor Michael Gabbett who has been appointed to the PCHD Council for a second term.

On that note, preparation is underway for the first PCHD Council meetings of the year. The PCHD Council will meet via teleconference on Thursday, 15 February, and face-to-face from Wednesday, 14 March to Thursday, 15 March including a day with representatives from Specialty Societies and paediatric Advanced Training Committees.

If you would like to become involved in the activities of the Division, expressions of interest for a range of positions on PCHD Council and Committees will open next week.

The College recently released a Pre-Budget Submission A Healthy Future for all Australians, which includes nine priority areas for the Federal Government to consider as it develops the 2018-2019 Budget. It was pleasing to see so many priorities relevant to children and young people, and these are further highlighted in this month’s lead story.

The paediatrics stream is shaping up nicely for RACP Congress 2018. Sessions include: The Rue Wright memorial award presentations, inequity in child health, disruption through high level acute care research, Indigenous child health, 25 years of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, and personalised medicine in paediatrics. There will also be a combined session with the Adult Medicine Division on over-diagnosis and over-testing. This is in addition to the fantastic shared interest sessions. See the Congress website for details on the expert speakers lined up. I hope to see you in Sydney.

Registrations will soon open for the annual Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day, to be held on Sunday, 13 May 2018. Further details will be in the next edition of Pot-pourri.

The formal launch of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Health will take place on Thursday, 1 and Friday, 2 March at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. More information on this is available later in the bulletin.

Finally, many basic trainee members of our Division are sitting the Divisional Written Exams this month. I'm sure all members of our Division will join me in wishing them the very best.

Dr Sarah Dalton
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

The call for nominations for College positions – results announced 

The recent call for nominations for the next RACP President-Elect, Directors on the College Board, and various positions on Division and Faculty Councils and the New Zealand and Chapter Committees closed on Friday, 2 February 2018.

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Academy of Child and Adolescent Health launch 

All are welcome to the formal launch of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Health on Thursday, 1 and Friday, 2 March at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.

The Academy will be launched by ​former Australian Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce. Senior representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK) and the RACP will be present and participating. There will be a program of interest to paediatricians for these two days.

The Academy is a new entity committed to improving outcomes for children and adolescents. We seek the support and engagement of our paediatricians in this new initiative.

Please register through the Academy website, where additional information can also be found.

Professor Kevin Forsyth
Chair, Academy of Child and Adolescent Health

RACP Congress 2018 – Early ​Bird Closing Sunday, 18 February

RACP Congress 2018 will take place at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from 14 to 16 May 2018.

Early bird registrations close on Sunday, 18 February 2018.

The Monday afternoon PCHD session, Disruption through high level acute care research, will include presentations from experts in health services, knowledge translation and future technologies.  One presentation will be by Associate Professor Franz Babl, paediatric emergency physician and Director of Research at the emergency department of the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Group Leader of Emergency Research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

For more information on the RACP Congress program and speakers visit the Congress website www.racpcongress.com.au.

Register before 18 February 2018 to receive the early bird discount rate.


Paediatrics Clinical Indicators

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) in consultation with colleges, specialty societies and other related stakeholder groups develops clinical indicators for the health industry and reports the aggregate data collected on these clinical indicators to participating healthcare organisations on a six-monthly basis. The goal of the Clinical Indicator Program is to use data to drive quality improvement in health care.

The ACHS is conducting a survey to understand the causes that effect uptake of the Paediatrics Clinical Indicators. The survey is designed specifically for the current Paediatrics Clinical Indicators in use, but it can be used to understand respondents’ opinions on data collection and reporting in general. The survey is open until Monday, 26 February.

For further information please contact Hao Zheng at the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards on +61 2 8218 2733, or at hzheng@achs.org.au.

Nomination for Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award 2018

Are you or do you know of an outstanding paediatrician who has contributed towards the improved health of children in the Asia Pacific region?

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) is seeking nominations of Fellows for the Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award 2018.

The Asia Pacific Pediatric Association will present the award at the 16th Asia Pacific Congress of Pediatrics (APCP) to be held in Bali, Indonesia from 25 to 29 August 2018.

The award acknowledges a paediatrician who has made an outstanding contribution towards improving the health of children and young people, not only in their respective country but also in other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

The PCHD Council will make their selection based on education and teaching, research, professional service/leadership, policy & advocacy, and contribution to disadvantaged groups. Please download OAPA 2018 - Nomination Form and submit the completed form, along with a brief curriculum vitae, by email to paed@racp.edu.au.

The closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday, 30 March 2018 (AEDT). 

Australian Paediatric Society and The Hunter Paediatric Society Conference

The Australian Paediatric Society will hold their annual meeting from Friday, 27 to Sunday, 29 April 2018 in Port Douglas. Further details can be found on The Hunter Paediatric Society (HPS) conference website.

The HPS has put together a program of education and networking activities from Sunday, 22 to Friday, 27 April 2018 in Palm Cove.  The program for the meeting is now available on the website along with all other details of the social activities, children's program and optional activities.

You can register for either or both meetings via the registration link on the conference website.

Paediatric Watch – Lessons from the Frontline

The Clinical Excellence Commission issues a regular publication Paediatric Watch - Lessons from the Frontline which shares the learnings from a de-identified critical incident (or incidents) and highlights opportunities to improve care for children and young people.

The latest edition, Paediatric Watch-Lessons from the Frontline: Deterioration of a developmentally delayed child with an acute abdomen is now available. 

World Bedwetting Day

World Bedwetting Day is on 29 May 2018 and aims to provide help and awareness for this common condition. Please visit the website for further information. 

New Evolve Recommendations to Improve Rheumatology Care

As part of the Evolve initiative, the Australian Rheumatology Association and The RACP have released a new series of recommendations to help avoid unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures carried out in Rheumatology clinical practice.

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Cannabis Therapy – Podcast

Cannabis Therapy is the topic of discussion in the latest Pomegranate Health Podcast

Only a few of the claimed medical effects of the plant have been proven by rigorous clinical trials in people. 

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The countdown is on, only four weeks to go until IMS 2018.

There are now only four weeks to go until the International Medical Symposium (IMS) 2018, which is being held on Friday, 9 March 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Registrations close soon, so secure your place today for this unique event.

The IMS is an exciting opportunity for clinicians from around the world to come together and discuss the health and wellbeing of medical professionals, and how this relates to providing quality care to our communities.

 IMS 2018 ​is hosted by:

  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

 The symposium program features keynote presentations from renowned international experts:

  • Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie (Canada) - Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine.
  • Dr Kym Jenkins (Australia) – President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Dr Fiona Moir (New Zealand) - Medical Programme Directorate and Senior Lecturer at The Department of General Practice at The University of Auckland
  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne (Australia) - Senior Psychiatrist, Prince of Wales Hospital; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia.

These speakers will explore and debate the current health and wellbeing landscape for doctors throughout their professional lifespan from undergraduate degree through to the end of a career.

To register, view the program or for more information, please visit the conference website.

Modern Workplace Challenges Course

Registrations are now open for the Modern Workplace Challenges Qstream course, which begins on Monday, 5 March.

The course includes 10 case study questions, which each take five minutes to complete. Questions are sent by email and spaced two days apart. The total duration of the course will depend on your own pace.

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Professional Performance Framework Update

The ​RACP supports the fundamental purpose of the Medical Board of Australia’s (MBA) recently released Professional Performance Framework. The Framework is the MBA’s response to the report of its Expert Advisory Group on revalidation. “Nothing is going to change tomorrow for individual doctors. We will be consulting widely and seeking expert advice on many elements of the framework” MBA Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn said.

The ​RACP is currently reviewing the documentation to understand how it will impact Fellows and the College’s operational processes. 

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Online Supervisor Courses – open for registration

 Registration is now open for the successful online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP).

The online courses for supervisors, listed below, are facilitated by RACP Fellows. They can be completed in any order, over five weeks.

 Scheduled dates for 2018:

  • SPDP 1 – Practical Skills for Supervisors, 12 February to 18 March
  • SPDP 2 – Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings, 30 April to 3 June
  • SPDP 3 – Work-based Learning and Assessment, 4 June to 8 July.

The course format includes scenario videos, online discussions and role play with other supervisors. They can be completed using a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet device with an internet connection.

Over 1,300 participants have enrolled in the online SPDP since its release. Feedback from participants who have successfully completed the program has been outstanding: 

  • Ninety-six per cent of surveyed participants say they would recommend the course to their colleagues
  • Eighty-nine per cent of surveyed participants say they felt they had the opportunity to develop their supervisor skills.

The time commitment is one to two hours per week, to be completed at your convenience, within the five weeks. Online participation can be counted towards your MyCPD program.

To register your interest, email learning@racp.edu.au with your preferred course dates. Enrolment instructions will be sent out closer to the course start date.

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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.

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.

View all Paediatrics and Child Health events here.

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

Career Opportunities


Neonatologist (Senior Staff Specialist or Staff Specialist)                                                         
Gold Coast University Hospital
Reference number: QLD/GC265172
Closing date: Friday, 16 February 2018 ​

​New South Wales

Paediatrician Staff Specialist 2.0 FTE: Bega, Pambula

Reference number: 16259
Closing date: Sunday, 18 February 2018

Go to the Medical Positions Vacant page at any time to see all job listings.

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