February 2020

COMMUNIQUE: February 2020
The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges met on Thursday 27 February 2020 at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Melbourne. All those present acknowledged the traditional owners of the Kulin Nation. Dr Kym Jenkins, FRANZCP, CPMC Chair advised of the inability from the Chief Medical Officer, the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Presidents from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Ophthalmologists, Emergency Medicine, General Practitioners, Rural and Remote Medicine. Noting this was the final meeting for Associate Professor Mark Lane, President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and Dr Ray Raper AM, College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand, Dr Jenkins thanked them for their contribution to the CPMC.
Professor David Ellwood, President Australian Medical Council discussed the COAG Review of accreditation systems specifically the recommendations arising from the National Accreditation Systems review. The AMC will consult with CPMC regarding the implementation phase.
Australian Department of Health- the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer representative discussed the Novel Corona Virus – COVD-19, communication and preparation. The development of a National Medical Workforce Strategy was discussed including confirmation the Department will officially write to Colleges requesting feedback on the strategy and proposed solutions.
The Medical Board of Australia Chair, Dr Anne Tonkin reported on the results from the inaugural National Medical Training Survey which showed strong support for the quality of education and training in Australia and that action is occurring in relation to building culture. The development of the Professional Performance Framework progresses with the Clinical Advice Committee finalising its advice for the Board on the physical and cognitive components of practical and effective health checks for doctors aged 70 years and older, the criteria and tools for cognitive screening and who should conduct the tests. The Board is undertaking scoping to develop options on how to more effectively manage practitioners with multiple substantiated notifications. The Board highlighted the legislation to come into effect on revised Mandatory Reporting requirements.
The Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association was represented by Associate professor Shannon Springer who discussed the initiatives to strengthen the pathways to Fellowship, the Specialist Trainees in the Medical Workforce project, and the Cultural Safety Training: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Clinical Practice. The AIDA conference will be held from 7-9 October at the Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast. The theme will be ‘Critical Mass –Powerful Voice’.
The Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care discussed the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA) Surveillance System which provides valuable data and reports to the public and private health systems, across the acute sector and community-based services. CPMC will work jointly with the Commission on communicating ways to improve the appropriate use of prescribing in clinical practice to prevent and contain antimicrobial resistance.
The Australian Medical Association discussed insurance, medication shortages given the range of travel bans and quarantine arrangements supporting containment of the COVID-19 and general employment issues.
The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand highlighted the impact the quarantine and travel ban for Chinese students is having on universities; the study on rural and regional workforce and whether having a rural background influences or impacts on rural specialist practice. Professor Symonds term as President will conclude in April 2020.
The Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils Dr Jonathan Knott discussed the policy development for prevocational training and consideration of competency based models of evaluation in the context of a predicted rise of fifteen percent of graduate medical doctors occupying the prevocational setting by 2030. A general discussion on continuing professional development, concerns over potential privatisation, access and cost.
The Australian Medical Students Association new President Mr Daniel Zou spoke about the issues confronting medical students in relation to training, highlighting a set of national priorities for AMSA in 2020 covering medical student mental health and wellbeing, action to improve the quality of clinical schools and placements including guaranteeing quality internships.
The Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors in Training new Chair Dr Hashim Abdeen reported on issues and challenges for doctors in training ranging from addressing the results of the National Medical Training Survey in relation to culture in medicine; the development of a single employment model and portability of leave entitlements for GP registrars; participation in the review of the national medical internship framework and need to ensure any changes proposed are based on evidence in order to ensure high quality doctors and the training is fit for purpose.
CPMC Presidents discussed participation in the various Departmental briefings in relation to the national emergencies; the range of forums relating to the development of a NMWS; the recommendations arising from a NSW Health Roundtable on JMO wellbeing, and the AMA CDIT forum. CPMC management of the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia grant funding program was discussed in the context of Funding Round 5 being the final under the current agreement and CPMC has commenced negotiations for continuity in recognition of the demand and strong support by rural specialists for what the program offers.
CPMC received a briefing and held discussions with the Australian Digital Health Agency on the My Health record, and specialist engagement under the National Digital Roadmap.
CPMC discussed Indigenous Health from the perspective of the Collaboration Agreement between the Australian Government, the AIDA, National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations, and determined to engage to refresh the arrangement.
CPMC discussed air quality, gender dysphoria, asylum seekers, the Disability Roundtable.
The next meeting is scheduled for 22 May, 2020 in SYDNEY.