29 February 2016

College Presidents met for the 113th meeting on Thursday 18 February, 2016 at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia on in Sydney commencing at 9am.

CPMC Chair, Professor Talley opened the Morning Forum and acknowledged the traditional owners of land. He welcomed Dr Stephen Parnis, Vice President, Australian Medical Association, Associate Professor Anthony Lawler, President of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and Dr Adam Castricum, President of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians to the meeting. Professor Talley noted apologies had been received from Professor Anne Kelso, National Health and Medical Research Council, Professor Villis Marshall, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and Professor Richard Tarala, Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils.

Professor Talley noted that CPMC is continuing to analyse its role in the sector. The Committee recently conducted a successful planning day, focusing on issues facing the sector and how CPMC can contribute, the urgency of working more together, collaborating, and sharing resources when required. He emphasised that workforce distribution is a key priority.

The Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Healthcare reported on the continued review of safety and quality standards and noted the next version will be available in 2017-18. The launch of the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation was noted with planning underway for the next one reflecting greater clinical input taking note of the benefit of longitudinal data over cross-sectional.

The Australian Medical Council updated the forum on the new standards for specialist accreditation with the aim to make reporting on standards easier and more consistent. There will be an emphasis on trainee wellbeing, patient safety, Indigenous health, CPD, further training and remediation, and assessment of specialist international medical graduates. The AMC will convene a workshop on trainee examinations.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer provided an update on the zika virus, responded to questions in relation to the removal of bulk-billing incentives for pathology, the current situation in relation to the Specialist Training Program and launch of two trial sites in Northern Queensland and the Blue Mountains for the MyHealth record.

The Medical Board of Australia noted the main issues discussed at the recent joint council meeting with New Zealand were revalidation, the Ageing Doctor, and International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Following the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) review, there has been an onus on the Medical Board to undertake further benchmarking. The new senate inquiry into the Medical complaints process in Australia, was noted.

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association noted its annual professional development and networking event will take place in Cairns from 14-17 September 2016. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) had recently been signed to provide Indigenous students with continued support. AIDA noted CPMC has agreed to participate in a joint governance forum.

The Australian Medical Association provided a summary of the AMA budget submission. It recognises there needs to be a balance for contributions between the two major levels of government, and a balance between private and public health care.

Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand updated the forum on the outcomes of the second Clinical Academic Summit was held in November, noting a working group was formed to progress the issues raised. MDANZ advised it has produced a document about the inherent requirements for medical schools that is available upon request. The forum was updated on the work occurring in collaboration with RACS on bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment.

Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils noted the need for a national consensus about prevocational training.

Professor Malcolm Hopwood (RANZCP) delivered a presentation to members, focusing on the current undersupply of psychiatrists and training capacity. Professor Bala Venkatesh (CICM) delivered a presentation to the group, focusing on workforce balance, and the oversupply of Intensivists. The Department of Health’s Dr Andrew Singer delivered a short presentation on workforce supply, noting that a workforce review is underway at the Department of Education and Training, and that Medicine has higher quality workforce data than other occupations. A report has been formulated and decisions will be made by the Skills Minister. He also noted that STP only covers 1,000 out of 22,000 training places, so it is only part of the solution.

The Committee also received presentations to update members on the National Prescribing Service, and the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.