CPMC – 18th & 19th August 2021

CPMC met on Wednesday 18th August with all Colleges Presidents in Australia and New Zealand, continuing on Thursday 19th August with College Chief Executives and all twelve organisational stakeholder participants of the CPMC Professions Observer Forum. 

Chaired by Dr Kym Jenkins, all in attendance extended their appreciation to doctors and all health care personnel working in the health and ageing sectors during the continued COVID pandemic. 

College Presidents agreed with the need for all eligible Australians to get vaccinated with the available vaccine and to comply with the public health orders in place. 

CPMC continues to remain active in the government relations and policy space in particular the development of a National Medical Workforce Strategy for Australia, medical regulation and accreditation processes. The CPMC Education and Medical Workforce Subcommittee oversaw the completion of the Commonwealth funded joint CPMC-AMC Training Review project and all four reports will be published publicly in September. College Presidents undertook governance and management approval processes on the Wednesday evening and noted with appreciation the contribution from Professor Alan Sandford AM, President, RACMA as it was his final meeting. 

On Thursday 19th August reports from professions observers were discussed. 

The Australian Medical Council as represented by Professor Kate Leslie AO reported on what innovations could become embedded into the Australian medical training system after the pandemic based on findings from the AMC Training Review project. A report on assessment and a scoping study on barriers and enablers to equitable access to education and learning is currently being finalised. A discussion on the revised registration standard and accreditation processes occurred. 

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer was represented by Dr Andrew Singer AM. CMO office reported on the vaccine rollout program, awareness campaigns, outbreak management and noted the requirement for more COVID vaccines. The National Medical Workforce Strategy is out for public consultation. 

Medical Board of Australia was represented by Dr Anne Tonkin, Chair of the Board. Several key issues were discussed: the Medical Training Survey which is open for completion; work around strengthening CPD as part of the implementation of the Professional Performance Framework (PPF), and the CPD Homes. The colleges will set the standards, so wherever a specialist’s CPD home is, they will have to meet the standards set by the colleges. Suspects most Fellows will stay with their colleges. 

Australian Health Practitioner’s Regulating Agency was represented by CEO Mr Martin Fletcher who discussed the Independent Accreditation Committee (IAC) to be Chaired by Professor Andrew Wilson from the membership composition and terms of reference perspective. CPMC remains concerned about the purpose of the committee as medicine and nursing already have high standards of accreditation. 

Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association was represented by Ms Raye and CEO Monica Barolits-McCabe. The report covered the AIDA 2021 roadshow, cultural practice and cultural safety training and work underway on growing the Indigenous medical workforce. 

Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care was represented by the Chair, Professor Villis Marshall AC who focussed on the need to strengthen advice on the importance of hand hygiene. The Commission will formally launch the primary and community healthcare standards in September. The Cataract Clinical Care standard has been launched, however the RANZCO has not endorsed them so further work will occur to refine them. 

The Australian Medical Association was represented by Dr Omar Khorshid reported on the intention to widen the audience able to attend the annual Congress to facilitate broader engagement and discussion. The AMA plans on holding a private health summit later in 2021. A discussion occurred around mandatory vaccination, effective functioning of hospitals during COVID and contingency plans for staffing, PPE training, public hospital funding, regulation and accreditation. 

The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand as represented by Dr Richard Murray, President and Ms Helen Craig, CEO who updated the forum on the report about online learning and clinical learning; the need to work together on the implementation of the NMWS particularly the need to reduce the heavy reliance on the international labour recruitment as well as innovation in getting more beds and new doctors in regional, rural and remote facilities. The MDANZ Conference is on 7-8the October register here: https://medicaldeans.org.au/home/annual-conference/ 

Confederation of Post-graduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) was represented by Dr Claire Blizzard from HETI, who reported it is planning on working with Colleges to implement any changes the AMC will make regarding the first two years after graduation, such as, at a practical level, what is a reasonable level of supervision for junior workforce to expect as COVID creates supervision issues across the country. Further discussion will occur between the hospitals, Colleges, MBA, and AMC. 

Australian Medical Association’s Council of Doctors in Training as represented by Dr Hashim Abdeen focussed the report on the costs of training forum, fees, reconsideration, review and appeals issues for trainees 

A presentation by Dr Penny Browne from AVANT Mutual on pharmacogenomics focussed on the recognition of the areas as complex and rapidly advancing science and medicine. 

The next meeting for College Presidents is 16th September, 14th October and for the full quarterly forum, 29th and 30th November, all likely in a virtual context. 

Dr Jenkins thanked all participants for their time and contribution to the range of important issues facing the system of medical education and training including service provision during COVID. 

CONTACT: Ms Angela Magarry FCHSM, Chief Executive, Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges.

T: @CPMC_Aust