COVID-19 Pandemic Communique – 7 May 2020

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges met to discuss issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Support and appreciation for the work of all health services personnel was noted in the context of the continued suppression of the epidemiological curve.

All College Presidents and Chief Executives were in attendance with apologies from the RCPA President. New College Presidents for the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians were introduced and their particular specialty of interest.

All College Presidents noted the National Cabinet met with the New Zealand Prime Minister in the context of a Trans-Tasman mutual arrangements in the post pandemic era.

The uptake of the COVIDSafe app was noted along with the release of the Position Statement on the importance of continuity of care for residents receiving specialist and GP treatment in non-inpatient settings and returning the residential Aged Care facility and the CPMC proposal to conduct a research project on the future of medical training in Australia.

The representative from the Department of Health, Dr Andrew Singer AM, spoke on the issues of PPE access, medical workforce, selection into training and jurisdictional planning along with drug availability considering the resumption of elective surgery and shortages prevalent in certain types of drugs. It was noted the MWRAC was to meet to resume medical workforce planning.

Dr Jane Munro from the Pandemic Kindness Project discussed the project with the Colleges.

An update from New Zealand based College Presidents on the alignment of Aotearoa and Australian training term dates, easing of restrictions and drug shortages.

The President RACGP Dr Harry Nespolon provided an update on primary care noting the importance of influenza vaccinations, continuity of care and welcomed the continuity (possibly) of telehealth beyond September as discussed with Minister Hunt. The ACRRM President, Prof. McPhee spoke to the issues of rural and remote Australia, and that better support is required noting the lockdown has been challenging and he is concerned about medical workforce availability post COVID-19.

The next meeting of CPMC was noted as 21st May and 22nd May 2020 comprising all Colleges and Professions Observers.
Communique released by Dr Kym Jenkins, CPMC Chair

Contact: Ms Angela Magarry FCHSM, CPMC Chair on ceo@cpmc.edu.au