Queensland – December 2016

A message from the Queensland State Committee Chair 

Colleagues,

Welcome to the Queensland eNewsletter. 

From time to time the State office receives requests for Fellows to attend a meeting, interview or other gathering on behalf of the College. Some of these representations are on formal government committees and a formal College expression of interest process is undertaken with an application and appointment process. On other occasions a one off attendance is required e.g. for a job interview, where RACP membership is not seen as representing the College, but as an indication of skill and expertise in a particular area. In such cases a formal application process is somewhat excessive and almost always not a timely process.

The State Committee is working with the College to develop a policy for Fellows to express their interest in participating in such one-off opportunities. There will be no requirement to attend any particular appointment just the willingness to be contacted regarding availability. Presuming we have a reasonable list of willing people, factors such as proximity to the meeting, specific sub-specialty requirements and potential conflicts of interest can be considered in asking a Fellow if they are able to attend. Please consider nominating when the process gets under way.

Revalidation is also likely to become an important agenda item over the life of this State Committee and I attended a meeting with Medical Board of Australia (MBA) representatives recently to discuss the issue. The RACP has also made a submission to the MBA revalidation consultation.

Capacity to train and selection into training are currently high on the agenda at the College. Changes in how people are selected for physician training are currently under discussion, including more formal selection processes. This review is likely nearing completion and we may see some formal recommendations in the coming year which I encourage all members to look out for.

I wish to thank the Queensland State Committee members for their ongoing work and collaboration and extend my best wishes to all Queensland members for a happy holiday and New Year. 

Dr Peter Davoren
Chair, QLD State Committee 

Queensland RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

The Queensland State Committee hosted its RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence on Wednesday, 9 November. 

The participating trainees had the opportunity to present to an audience including State Committee and College Board members and actively engage with them over the course of the evening. 

Congratulations to Dr Chris Richmond who was awarded best presentation in the paediatrics category for his presentation on 'Feeding interventions because of respiratory events in preterm infants', and Dr Samuel Chan who was awarded best presentation in the adult medicine category for his presentation 'Temporal changes in deceased kidney donor characteristics in Australia'. 

Dr Gail Robinson and Dr Nitin Kapur were the judges for the evening which was hosted by Dr Peter Davoren.

Inaugural RACP visit to Mount Isa Hospital

In November RACP Queensland Member Support Officer Hannah Parker and the Queensland Health Pathway Rotation Coordinator for Cairns, Dr Simon Smith were invited to Mount Isa Hospital to meet with Director of Medicine Dr Umayal Lakshman, to gain insight into the life of a remote physician and the benefits for Basic Trainees rotating to Mount Isa Hospital. As a first visit from the RACP to the site it was an exciting moment for all.

Dr Lakshman is passionate about her work in Mount Isa and enthusiastic about training Basic Trainees both at Mount Isa Hospital and through her outreach programs which give trainees a unique opportunity to be involved with patients that is rarely found in larger centres. 

Issues discussed with Dr Lakshman included extending the training program in Mount Isa and developing the link with Mount Isa’s ‘locally grown’ future trainees as they join the RACP training programs. 

Dr Lakshman also took the guests on a tour of the hospital and to meet with members of the Paediatric and Emergency ​Teams as they toured their departments. It was a very valuable experience and valuable opportunity to learn how such a remote centre in Far North Queensland works and all the hard work that it takes to create such a dependable work environment.  

Integrating the physician voice into the Health Care Homes trial

In May, the Australian Federal Government announced its Health Care Homes (HCH) trial that will be rolled out across 10 regions. Up to 65,000 patients with complex or chronic health issues will be nominating a general practice or Aboriginal Medical Service to be their ‘medical home’, and that service will be responsible for coordinating the provision of all care to look after those conditions. This will include care provided by specialists and allied health practitioners.

HCH is mainly a primary care reform initiative, it is however imperative that the physician perspective is heard and that we are able to contribute to the design and implementation of these HCH trials. Following discussions with government and other stakeholders, the RACP successfully gained a position for Associate Professor Alasdair Macdonald, Chair of the RACP Integrated Care Working Party, on the government’s HCH Implementation Advisory Group.

Recently the government announced the 10 regions for the trials; which includes the Brisbane North Primary Health Network region.

During 2016 the RACP has worked closely with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and consumers on its discussion paper on integrated care, which was circulated across the College and received very positive feedback. Taking a principles-based approach, the RACP is advocating for reforms and investments that would improve the integration of care, such as improving the usability and use of electronic health records, better use of digital technologies, a multidisciplinary team approach, and a move to blended payment systems where appropriate.
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