24 August 2015

College Presidents met in Melbourne on Thursday 6th August 2015 at the Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists for the 111th meeting.

Professor Michael Permezel chaired the meeting and welcomed Profession Observers, College Presidents and Chief Executives to the meeting and acknowledged the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land upon which they met.

The Chair reported on Professor Hollands meeting with the Medical Board of Australia and the discussion concerning revalidation, audits of CPD and related matters.

The Australian Medical Council reported on the convening of the mid-year general meeting of Council held in Toowoomba, Queensland and the site visits which provided valuable feedback in relation to health services and education providers. Professor Mortimer noted the report and recommendations from the review of the National Registration and Accreditation Standards was presented to Australian Health Ministers at their August 2015 meeting. Professor Mortimer reported on the AMC project assessing medical students’ professionalism and fitness to practise across the four themes identified by the AMC to develop potential solutions.

The report from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer highlighted a new organisational structure had been put in place for the Department of Health. He highlighted a discussion paper would be released on the review of the Specialist Training Program. In relation to the national workforce program and graduate numbers, training places and supply issues, Dr Singer responded on behalf of the Department of Health to indicate that while the number of training places had increased in response to the growth in demand for places over the past fifteen years, the additional graduates will be required in the out years from 2025-2030. College Presidents urged the government to take action now given the five-ten year lag and to assure a quality medical workforce into the future.

Professor Anne Kelso, Chief Executive National Health and Medical Research Council reported on the confirmation of appointments to the NHMRC Council for the 2015-18 triennium. Professor Kelso reported on the NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres along with the targeted call for research into preparing Australia for the genomic revolution in health care, and the National Institute of Dementia Research.
Mr Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive, Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency provided the report on behalf of Dr Joanna Flynn and confirmed the MBA had received the research on revalidation and it will establish an expert group to provide it with advice including seeking view by consultation.

Dr Kali Hayward, Vice-President, Australian Indigenous Doctors Association reported the activity undertaken by Medical Colleges under the Collaboration Agreement and the recent engagement with Rural Doctors Association of Australia. Dr Hayward drew attention to the AIDA 2015 symposium to be held at Glenelg, South Australia between 16-19 September. Within that conference the Indigenous Health subcommittee will convene co-chaired by Professor Hollands and Dr Tammy Kimpton.

Professor Villis Marshall, Chair Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Healthcare reported on the Atlas of healthcare variation which will contain 37 data items distributed across seven chapters; the implementation of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards; the General Practice Accreditation Project, and the Aboriginal Health project.

Ms Anne Trimmer, Secretary-General, Australian Medical Association reported on the MBS Review roundtable to be convened in Canberra; the private health insurance fund negotiations in relation to coverage of care, and feedback from the roundtable on sexual harassment and bullying.

Professor Nicholas Glasgow introduced the report from the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand highlighting several matters, the recent appointment of a new Chief Executive with Ms Carmel Tebbutt to commence on 19 October, the recent signing of a Collaboration Agreement with AIDA, and the interaction with the RACS processes in relation to sexual harassment and bullying.

Professor Brendan Crotty represented the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils and noted the continued issues with regards to funding CPMEC, consultations in relation to the National Review of Medical Internships, and the opportunity for this process to address perceived gaps in prevocational experience such as developing learning resources to support educational goals including dissemination of many high quality materials for local use.

Members discussed strategic issues including workforce supply and demand issues.

The Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges will next meet on Thursday 12th November 2015 in Sydney.