CPMC – May 2021

Communique: May 2021

Presidents of Australia’s specialist Medical Colleges met for the 152nd meeting of Council commencing at 6pm on Wednesday 19th May and continuing with all twelve of the organisations forming the Profession Observer Forum on Thursday 20th May 2021.  This Communique reflects discussion.

Acting Chair, CPMC Dr Vijay Roach (and President RANZCOG) introduced all attendees to the forum and acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which people were meeting. All present expressed their appreciation for the work undertaken by all those involved in the COVID pandemic response and the critical importance of the national vaccination program in protecting the safety of all Australians. The COVID situation in India was noted with deep concern.

CPMC welcomed three new College Presidents and thanked those whose term had concluded, for their considerable contribution to CPMC and particularly throughout COVID. Specifically, Dr Sally Langley replacing Dr Tony Sparnon from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS); Dr Claire Tait replacing Dr David Francis from the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD); and Dr Vinay Lakra replacing Dr John Allan from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).

The CPMC report focussed on the government relations and representational activity. The New Zealand based Presidents updated on the reform process to establish HealthNZ as part of a transition away from District Health Boards. The CPMC Training Review project has completed the literature review, reports one and two and in draft the final report on policy recommendations. A Wellbeing Charter for Doctors is expected to be launched in the forthcoming weeks. https://twitter.com/CPMC_Aust for vax videos.

The Australian Medical Council was represented by the AMC President Professor Kate Leslie AO, with a focus given to the review of medical school accreditation standards for primary medical programs; the national framework for prevocational medical training; an update provided on the specialist education accreditation committee’s accreditation workshops and work underway to deliver webinar based cultural safety coaching lessons. Mr Philip Pigou, CEO was also in attendance.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly was present to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic from a global and national perspective, including epidemiological situation reports and the public health measures currently in place which includes border controls and travel bans. A discussion occurred in relation to the procurement and rollout of vaccines noting the Australian Government has secured over 195 million doses of vaccine through agreements with four major companies. Other issues covered included the current situation and expected outcomes from discussions in relation to the National Medical Workforce Strategy for Australia and CPMC’s contribution; the MBS review, digital health; dust disease taskforce; and the management of the infectious syphilis outbreak.

Professor Anne Kelso, CEO National Health & Medical Research Council addressed the forum focussing on the response to COVID-19, the Federal Budget, and range of grant programs, funding and outcomes.

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Dr Anne Tonkin as Chair Medical Board of Australia addressed the forum on the major issues for the Board including the announcement of the intention to run the Medical Training Survey again in 2021; continuing its work to develop the Professional Performance Framework; the extension for a further 12 months of the pandemic sub-register and, the advice for health practitioners regarding making statements about COVID-19 vaccinations. Mr Martin Fletcher, CEO of Australian Health Practitioners’ Regulating Agency explained the basis of the intention to establish a new, independent accreditation committee to consider key accreditation issues in response to a policy direction from the Health Council. Acknowledging the Committee membership is not yet finalised, CPMC conveyed its concern about the omission of the medical profession in the structure.

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association reported on the 2021 AIDA roadshow.

Professor Villis Marshall, Chair, Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care discussed the findings of the 4th Atlas of Variation and focussed areas of improvement.

Dr Omar Khorshid President, the Australian Medical Association discussed COVID vaccine roll out program; positions on PHI reforms, the Federal Budget, GP training, scope of practice and regulatory reforms. The AMA shares CPMC’s concerns in relation to the omission of the medical profession in the new Accreditation Committee including lack of direct consultation.

Dr Claire Blizzard, Chair Confederation of Post Graduate Medical Education Councils focussed her report on the staged implementation of changes to the prevocational space as well as issues in relation to medical education and accreditation.

Ms Helen Craig, CEO Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand conveyed the impact on undergraduate medical training from COVID and the situation with overseas students currently unable to return to study in Australia. Support for the Indian doctors through the ANU was noted.

Ms Sophie Keen, President Australian Medical Student’s Association discussed issues affecting medical students and the policy development currently underway. Dr Hashim Abdeen, Chair AMA Council of Doctors in Training spoke about assessment, training and progressing the findings of the MTS.

Next quarterly PO Forum is scheduled for 19th August 2021 at GMT L19, RACP, Sydney

Contact: Ms Angela Magarry, ceo@cpmc.edu.au; +61437227422

CPMC acknowledges and pays respects to, the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waters and communities where our Australian-based colleagues live and work and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

The CPMC membership includes many binational Colleges. CPMC recognises the special status of nga iwi Maori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand and is committed to meeting its obligations as Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners.