1 May 2014

College Presidents met in Sydney on Thursday 1 May 2014 for the 106th meeting. Professor Michael Hollands chaired the forum and thanked AHPRA on the recently convened forum on regulation, noted apologies had been received from Dr Joanna Flynn (MBA) and Health Workforce Australia, and welcomed Professor Bala Venkatesh as an observer to the meeting.

The forum welcomed The Honourable Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport to the meeting as a guest. Minister Dutton outlined his desire to engage productively with the specialist medical colleges in addressing the mal-distribution of the medical workforce across Australia. The Minister’s views were sought on scope of practice issues, continuity of the Specialist Training Program funding, and the review of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Reports were received from Forum participants.

  • The Australian Medical Council noted the composition of the AMC Council as well as work being undertaken on the review of standards for specialist training programs.
  • Australia’s Chief Medical Officer reported on the current status of recent infectious disease outbreaks in the Middle East and western Africa with relevant information to be provided to the relevant colleges.
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council spoke to data on funding outcomes, the recently released resources for clinicians on homeopathy and complementary medicines.
  • The Medical Board of Australia reported that is to fund external health programs for doctors and medical students on a national basis to ensure nationally consistent services. Clarification of the advertising guidelines was also provided and the increased role of the college in the assessment of specialist IMGs through the revised assessment pathway which takes effect on 1 July 2014, highlighted.
  • The timeframe for the introduction of revalidation was discussed noting that regulations and standards have yet to be formulated by the MBA.
  • The Australian Indigenous Doctors Association noted the recent internal organisational reviews, the AIDA symposium scheduled for 1-4 October 2014.
  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care noted the continued accreditation of health care services and consultation on the clinical care standards as well as current activities in relation to variation in health care and a national register of patient implants.
  • The Australian Medical Association reported on the Queensland doctors’ situation, the work with BeyondBlue in relation to junior doctors and raised concerns in relation to the May Federal Budget. The May Forum extended their appreciation to Dr Steve Hambleton following the completion of his term as AMA President.
  • The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand reported on the concerns regarding the continuity of funding to support the MSOD medical student data set and unique data set, advising that work was being undertaken to explore data linkage opportunities with national health workforce and APHPRA registration datasets. The role of MDANZ in relation to the number of overseas students in Australian medical schools and the retention of these individuals in Australia beyond the completion of their degree was also outlined.
  • The Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils reported on their work developing accurate information for graduates and strategic priorities relating to those in PGY2 and PGY3.

Presidents approved the CPMC operational budget for 2014-15 in the context of strategic priorities. The next meeting is to be held in Sydney on 14 August, 2014.