2 June 2016

The Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges met at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, for its 114th meeting on Thursday 2nd June, 2016.

The Chair of CPMC, Professor Nicholas Talley opened the meeting at 9am, noting apologies received from profession observers and members. Professor Talley acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which the meeting was held. Professor Talley welcomed the Chair and CEO of the Council of Medical Colleges, New Zealand as observers.

Professor Talley made special mention of it being the final meeting for CMO Professor Chris Baggoley, who also served as the CPMC Chairman from 2000-2003 and was the President of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine.

CPMC reported that it was organising the National Health Summit on Obesity to take place on 9 November in Melbourne.

The Australian Medical Council president Professor Jillian Sewell reported on the format for the June general meeting of Council. The AMC confirmed that its position on bullying and harassment is now reflected in the accreditation standards for specialist education and training. An overview of the AMC Indigenous Planning Advisory Group was provided. There was agreement on exploring the potential for a National Training Survey to be developed as one of the mechanisms to gather confidential feedback on training programs and providers.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley provided an update on the extent of the Zika virus and control processes for the Olympics. The Department confirmed that the review into the Specialist Training Program (STP) was in place and while acknowledging the urgency of having a definite confirmation of funding and the number of training positions available in 2017, no decisions on funding agreements can be made until after election.

The report from the National Health and Medical Research Council was noted.

The report from the Medical Board of Australia was noted. An update on the current situation in relation to medical revalidation was provided by the AHPRA CEO in addition to the guidelines which have been developed for the specialist pathway for short term training for international medical graduates (IMGs).

The report from the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association was provided by the new CEO who highlighted the AIDA 2-16 Networking Event that will take place in Cairns in September, the commitment to continuing to work with CPMC to ensure the collaboration of all Colleges in committing to strengthen indigenous training for example through STP and mentoring processes.

A report from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare updated Colleges on the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2.0 (atlas 2.0) under development which will primarily cover acute hospital services while Atlas 1.0 was community based interventions. Professor Marshall advised of the imminent release of its First Australian Report on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Human Health (AURA 2016) and encouraged commitment from Colleges especially in the area of hand washing hygiene.

The Australian Medical Association reported on the activities in relation to key campaigns, the Federal Budget and submissions made to government enquiries such the Private Health Insurance review and the government’s Skilled Occupations List.

The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand reported it continues to focus on addressing regional and rural medical workforce issues, and noted the plateauing of medical student numbers.

The importance of a formal connection between the Deans and specialist training Colleges was affirmed when decisions are made to establish new medical schools.

The Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils report was noted in the context of continuation of funding required and the work underway on prevocational training.

Colleges received an address from the Secretary of the Department of Health on the health reform agenda to meet future fiscal and health access requirements.

Colleges discussed current strategic policy issues on medical fees and gaps, revalidation from two Colleges perspectives, received an update on the CPMC National Health Summit on Obesity and determined a new subcommittee on rural health to govern the processes concerning the SRSA agreement. College Presidents agreed to next meet following the Federal Election on 18 August 2016 at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.