August 2019

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges met on Thursday 22nd August 2019 at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Brisbane for its 126th meeting as CPMC. The Turrbal People were acknowledged as the traditional owners of the land upon which the meeting was held.

Dr Philip Truskett AM, Chair, CPMC welcomed new College Presidents to the meeting. Dr Tony Sparnon, President Royal Australasian College of Surgeons; Dr John Allan, President Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and Dr David Francis, President, Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Dr Curtis Walker, Chair of the Medical Council of New Zealand and Ms Joan Simeon, Chief Executive were in attendance at the meeting. This was the first meeting for the new President of the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand, Professor Ian Symonds; Ms Monica Barolits-McCabe as CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association. CPMC noted the appointment of Dr Martin Laverty as the Secretary-General of the Australian Medical Association.

Dr Philip Truskett AM, addressed the forum and highlighted the development of the National Medical Workforce Strategy Scoping Framework as an issue of importance to CPMC. All participants acknowledged the status updates in relation to the Council of Australian Governments Accreditation Systems Review, the Review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and Private Health Insurance.

The Australian Medical Council was represented by the Deputy CEO Ms Theanne Walters AM.

The Australian Government was represented by Professor Brendan Murphy, Commonwealth Chief Health Officer and Dr Andrew Singer AM, Principal Medical Adviser. A discussion occurred in relation to the geographic maldistribution of doctors and the intention to better utilise the STP posts to ameliorate for rural and regional areas. It was noted that certain specialties with highly technical training requirements will need to manage rural rotations differently to others.

The Medical Board of Australia was represented by Dr Anne Tonkin, Chair with Mr Martin Fletcher, CEO, Australian Health Practitioner’s Regulating Agency (AHPRA). An update on the national medical training survey was provided. An update on how the professional performance framework is developing occurred with reference to the establishment of a Committee to provide clinical advice for the Board on the physical and cognitive components of practical and effective health checks for doctors aged 70 years and older.

The Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association was represented by Associate Professor Shannon Springer, Vice-President. The appointment of Ms Monica Barolits-McCabe as the CEO was welcomed. Dr Springer referred to the finalisation of the National Medical Training Advisory Network (NMTAN) Specialist Trainees in the Medical Workforce Project which contains minimum and best practice standards for implementation. The launch by AIDA of a Cultural Training program was noted with all College Presidents having participated in the training on 21 August 2019.

The Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care was represented by Professor Villis Marshall AC and Dr Heather Buchan. The Commission is to develop a user guide and supporting material for active ingredient prescribing so that consumer access to medicines information is clear.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) was represented by Dr Andrew Miller AM who raised the issue of non-accredited trainees, issues associated with employment and doctor wellbeing.

The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand was represented by Professor Ian Symond as the new Chair of the MDANZ. Also in attendance was Ms Helen Craig, CEO. MDANZ is considering options where medical schools could further improve their contribution to improving regional training and addressing the regional and rural medical workforce mal-distribution.  MDANZ Annual Conference is 19-20 September at the University of Melbourne.

The Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) was represented by Ms Jessica Yang. AMSA continues to work with stakeholders concerning the availability of quality internships to all Australian medical graduates.

The Australian Medical Association Council of Doctor’s in Training (CDIT) was represented by Dr Tessa Kennedy who spoke about trainee education and welfare.

The next CPMC meeting is scheduled for Thursday 21 November 2019 at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney.

CPMC meeting - 22 August 2019


Dr Philip Truskett AM, Chair CPMC via Ms Angela Magarry, Chief Executive, CPMC on 0437227422