COVID-19 Communique – 19 March 2020

In March 2020 the World Health Organisation announced the novel corona virus, COVID-19 as a global epidemic, or pandemic. CPMC supports the Australian Government’s National Plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

All College Presidents and CEOs in Australia and New Zealand have commenced a weekly meeting by video technology, to communicate, collaborate and share information on what issues need to be considered as a result of the pandemic. This Communique reflects the broad discussions and decisions made. A list of College Presidents is below.

Pandemic Epidemiology CPMC noted that Australia had entered a daily growth rate of above 20 % and a variety of societal and quarantine measures were becoming implemented.

Government Relations College Presidents raised the urgent need for access to more Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for Australian health care workers and will urgently communicate this need to the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer. In addition, more frequent and enhanced communication on the COVID-19 response from the Australian Government to health system leaders and managers, and workers is necessary. CPMC confirmed it would work in collaboration with the Australian Government through the CMO to facilitate regular access to relevant data and communications for wider dissemination. Daily incident updates were to be shared to all Colleges.

Impact on Specialist Training & CPD: All Colleges have undertaken an assessment of the impact of a pandemic on the ability to continue to service the needs of trainees and Fellows from events, CPD through to examinations. Each specialist Medical College has developed a specific portal of information for doctors to access on COVID-19 as listed at:

Impact on Medical College Accreditation: All Colleges agreed a statement was required from the Australian Medical Council on what consideration will be arrived at to manage specialist Medical College accreditation.

Impact on Medical Regulation: All Colleges confirmed a statement was required from the Medical Board of Australia on the impact of COVID-19 on regulation of medical professions and CPD requirements as well as International Medical student, graduates and specialists. CPMC to liaise with regulating agencies to obtain advice.

Impact on Clinical Training Places: The States and Territories Departments of Health had advised of the formation of a Jurisdictional Working Group to facilitate nation-wide communication regarding the impact of changes to training and site accreditation on service delivery.

Communication from external stakeholders was discussed including the establishment of a special advisory group, action to enable mental health resources for workers, human rights and detention centres.

CPMC May 2020 Meeting: All College Presidents agreed to move the quarterly formal Professions Observer Forums and Board meetings to virtual and re-assess for the August and November meetings.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Statement for CPMC website

CPMC is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness coronavirus (COVID-19) and is receiving updates daily from the Australian Department of Health and providing this information to the Colleges. The coronavirus may impact on training sessions and conferences so each College is prioritising the health and safety of Fellows, trainees, and staff by acting in compliance with instructions from governments. Further information go to:


For New Zealand:


Communique released by Dr Kym Jenkins Chair Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges

Dr Tony Sparnon, President, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dr Louise Tulloh, President, Australasian College of Sport & Exercise Physicians

Dr John Bonning, President, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

Associate Professor Ewen McPhee, President, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Dr David Francis, President, Australasian College of Dermatologists

Dr Rodney Mitchell, President, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Dr Ray Raper AM, President, College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand

Dr Harry Nespolon, President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Associate Professor Alan Sandford AM, President, Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators

Dr John Allan, President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Dr Michael Day, President, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia

Dr Vijay Roach, President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

Associate Professor Heather Mack, President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Dr Lance Lawler, President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

Associate Professor Mark Lane, President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians


CONTACT: Ms Angela Magarry Chief Executive, or +61437227422