Board Communique January 2021

Presidents of Australia’s specialist Medical Colleges met on Thursday 21st January 2021 at 1900 hrs AEST to discuss the COVID response, vaccines, training issues and policy matters.
Chaired by Dr Kym Jenkins FRANZCP she welcomed two new College Presidents, Dr Karen Price President RACGP and Dr Sarah Chalmers President of ACCRM. Presidents farewelled Dr Tulloh (ACSEP).
Dr Andrew Singer AM, representing the Department of Health discussed the COVID vaccine program and licensing arrangements, including the government’s roll out plan with the initial focus on frontline health workers, then vulnerable populations, and then children. There is a focus on assessment of risk and the TGA immunisation taskforce will issue advice for medical practitioners soon.
College Presidents encourage specialists to monitor the following web URL as it is updated on a daily basis and is a reliable source of information concerning COVID vaccinations:
College Presidents discussed the draft CPMC submission on a National Medical Workforce Strategy and recommended revising it to reflect an evidence-based approach to the set of recommendations. Ms Magarry provided an update on the Training Review project noting the literature review was in its final stage; the consultation process was underway with an 80% response rate, and staff are doing a thematic analysis on the responses to be coded against the four themes and 37 subthemes that the literature review identified. On the SRSA program Ms Magarry affirmed that unused Funding Round 4 and 5 grants can be rolled over into Funding Round 6, in response to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. A brief overview of company finances and governance was also provided.
Dr Mary Pinder, CICM President provided an update on the COVID situation in the UK based on communication with critical care colleagues at the NHS Executive and discussion will continue with New Zealand, Australia and CPMC concerning support.
Dr Karen Price, RACGP President provided the primary care update focussing on vaccine rollout arrangements in GP clinics, access to scientific information, issues of funding and workforce provision.
Dr Michael Dray, RCPA President focussed on the quarantine facilities in New Zealand where COVID cases are being detected and noted that PCR remains the most reliable, effective, efficient and reliable form of testing. The NZ vaccine rollout will likely commence in April. Dr Dray noted a renewed focus is being given to the implementation of the 2020 Health and Disability review.
College Presidents will continue to meet monthly. The next CPMC meeting is Thursday 18th February.
Contact: Ms Angela Magarry M: 0437227422