16 November 2017

College Presidents met on Thursday 16 November 2017 at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Council Room, at 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney. College Presidents acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which the meeting was held.

Professor Talley welcomed Dr Derek Sherwood, President Council of Medical Colleges, New Zealand to the meeting. College Presidents welcomed the recent appointment of Ms Mary Harney, CEO, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and Ms Melanie Saba, CEO Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges reported on the concerns it has in relation to a range of recommendations contained in the Independent Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS Review) for Health Professionals having discussed the report findings with Minister Hunt. CPMC highlighted the merit in further progressing initiatives arising from the CPMC National Health Summit on Obesity; the positives that will arise from the Indigenous health summit and agreement with Ministers; and moving forward on topics such as revalidation and medical workforce. At the conclusion of his presentation Mr Philip Truskett gave a short address thanking Professor Talley for his contribution to advancing specialist medicine in Australia.

The Australian Medical Council was represented by Professor David Ellwood who provided an update on the draft report by COAG concerning accreditation system review disputing the report’s view that the problems in the system warrant a magnitude of change.

Chief Medical Officer’s Report was presented by Dr Tony Hobbs, accompanied by Dr Andrew Singer, Principal Medical Adviser. The Commonwealth is to consider its approach for fluvax observing the US and UK conditions. College Presidents recommended a stronger emphasis on primary care communications and for the message to be consistent. College Presidents noted the appointment of the National Rural Health Commissioner and relationship he will have to the work of the National Medical Training Advisory Network – Distribution Working Group and the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine – Regional Training Hubs. College Presidents noted the outcomes of the Review of the Specialist Training Program, the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund and the Review of Procedural Training Programs.

The Medical Board of Australia was represented by Dr Joanna Flynn, Chair of the Medical Board. A discussion occurred in relation to the work occurring to develop a process of revalidation for medical practitioners in Australia. Dr Flynn drew attention to the Review of the specialist registration standard has been revised and approved by Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to come into effect in early 2018.

The Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association was represented by Mr Craig Dukes, CEO. AIDA will provide a report on racism experienced by junior Indigenous doctors to the next meeting.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care was represented by the Chair, Professor Villis Marshall who provided an update on the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards – second edition. A Ministerial launch of the standard was expected for November 2017. A new standard guide was to be developed to support the resources of the NSQHC.

The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand was represented by Professor Richard Murray, President, who highlighted the critical asset for Australian medical education from the Medical Schools Outcome Database National Data Report 2017.

The Presidents of the RACP Dr Catherine Yelland along with CPMC Chair, Professor Talley welcomed Minister Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Health to the meeting. The Minister noted specialist Medical Colleges as leaders in helping to address the health gaps people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATIS) background. The Minister outlined his plan for 2018 to address closing the gap targets. The Minister received the report arising from the CPMC National Health Forum on Indigenous Health which recommended a focus on reducing eye disease, ear disease, rheumatic heart disease and addressing maternal and child health along with mental health.

The Council of Presidents Medical Colleges then convened the Annual General Meeting for 2016-17.

Presidents then discussed governance and strategic issues. The CPMC subcommittee on Indigenous Health appointed Professor Ruth Stewart, President Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine as chair. The purpose of the subcommittee would be to facilitate the progress of the recommendations of the national forum and agreement with Health Ministers to focus on Tier 3 of the Health Performance Framework.

College Presidents noted the positive progress against the targets under the funding agreement for the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia program, in particular the opening of Funding Round 2.

College Presidents identified the 2018 dates for Council meetings as follows:

  • Friday, 16th February 2018 – Melbourne
  • Thursday, 17 May 2018 – Sydney
  • Thursday, 23rd August 2018 – Brisbane
  • Thursday, 15th November 2018 – Sydney

These dates and other information can be found here