20 February 2014

College Presidents met in Melbourne on Thursday 20 February 2014 for the 105th meeting. Professor Michael Hollands chaired the meeting highlighting the recent meeting with Health Minister Dutton at which the role and activities of CPMC were discussed as well as future engagement. Members noted the changes in directors and the financial statements.

Australian Medical Council noted the appointment of two CPMC nominees to the AMC, Professor Kate Leslie as an AMC Director, and Professor Michael Hollands as a member of Council. The external review of the AMC was considered as well as the review of the Accreditation Standards for Specialist Medical training Programs and their Providers, and an update on changes to the specialist pathway for international medical graduates was provided.

Chief Medical Officer reported on the reviews currently being undertaken, and provided updates on the review of the PCEHR, the Commonwealth funded medical intern places, the ‘Supporting leave for living organ donor’ scheme, and the H7N9 situation. Presidents questioned the timing of decisions in relation to the continuation of funding for particular programs and projects, such as GP Psych Support.

Medical Board of Australia reported on the changes to the SIMG assessment pathway and the implementation date of 1 July 2014 for the revised pathways. The review of the registration standards, codes and guidelines was outlined noting some minor changes to the code to reflect the current regulatory framework noted. The scheduled review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme including the call for submissions was noted.

Health Workforce Australia’s establishment of the National Medical Training Advisory Network and appointment of Professor Hollands to the Executive was noted. NHMRC report noted.

Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association reported on recent meetings with a number of Colleges and further engagement was discussed from the perspective of increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and registrars in Australia, and the specialist Colleges with which they train and progress to Fellowship.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care reported on accreditation to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards with the work now being undertaken in relation to assessment of the impact of hospital accreditation to the Standards. Consultation in relation to the Clinical Care Standards was outlined. The work of the Commission in relation to the management of cognitive impairment, as well as antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic usage was highlighted.

Australian Medical Association reported on a forthcoming symposium partnering with BeyondBlue on the topic of the mental health of medical practitioners. Concerns relating to the contract arrangements for Queensland doctors and the possible loss of senior doctors from within the Queensland health workforce were outlined, as was the centenary anniversary of MJA on 4 July, 2014.

Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand expressed support for vocational training occurring in rural and regional Australia, rather than the establishment of new medical schools in those areas with an intention to work closely with the Colleges on this matter noted.

A discussion with Professor Stuart Boland, Avant Mutual Group regarding responsibility for professional standards, with the role of the Colleges in adjudicating complaints relating to standards of practice considered and discussed in the context of the complaints process of the Medical Board noting the associated legislative provisions and protections.

Members noted information provided from Professor Bolitho in preparation for the forthcoming medical education seminar convened jointly by the Tripartite Alliance between the RACP/RACS on Revalidation.

Dr Gruner reported on the recently convened meeting of the Education Subcommittee, with the clinical supervision project, training of Indigenous medical students and doctors, and sharing of resources considered and discussed. Pending clarification of issues relating to Intellectual Property, the uploading of information to the CPMC website will be progressed.

Dr Marles spoke to the initiatives being progressed by RACGP in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors, including the Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, membership of which is open to anyone with an interest in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island health. Specific figures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors enrolling and completing GP training were provided, with the range of factors influencing their training experience acknowledged. A range of other measures and supports introduced by RACGP, including arrangements with GPET whereby an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicant is guaranteed an interview with their provider of first choice, was also outlined.

Dr Roberts spoke to the initiatives being progressed by ANZCA, noting in particular that college’s success in Maori and Pacific Islander health. Avenues by which relationships have been strengthened were also outlined, with the recently developed materials around cultural sensitivity and the introduction of an Indigenous identifier for trainees noted.

The CPMC work program for future meetings will include a standing agenda item in relation to Indigenous doctors with the CPMC website to be updated to provide links to the resources offered by member colleges.

The CPMC work program will also include a regular item in relation to the National Medical Training Advisory Network, a key platform under Health Workforce Australia’s work to progress a future training plan.

The next meeting is to be held at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians on 1 May, 2014.