May 2019

College Presidents, Chief Executives, Profession Observers and invited guests convened at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Governor Macquarie Tower, SYDNEY on Friday 17th May, 2019 for the 125th meeting of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges.

Commencing at 9am, Dr Philip Truskett AM, Chair CPMC welcomed representatives from the Medical Council of New Zealand Dr Curtis Walker, Chair and Ms Joan Simeon, Executive Director, who discussed the New Zealand model for recertification and the cultural competence and cultural safety resources which are currently under review. Later in the day CPMC welcomed Ms Deborah Frew, Director at the NSW Ministry of Health on the Accreditation Systems Review, its implementation workplan. It was noted that the draft implementation plan will be submitted to the July 2019 AHMAC meeting.

All participants acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which the meeting was held, the Eora Nation. Dr Truskett invited discussion on the reports.

The Australian Medical Council referred to their workplan and the recent workshop held with specialist Medical Colleges regarding accreditation. On the issue of the Accreditation Systems Review, the AMC reported it supports the recommendations that aim to improve the accreditation system operating under the National Law, specifically those relating to transparency and accountability, effectiveness and efficiency of accreditation in the National Scheme as a whole. The AMC highlighted a concern in relation to ensuring any mechanisms proposed to deliver these outcomes did not either affect the role of the professions in accreditation or create additional bureaucracy.

The Department of Health reported on the development of the National Medical Workforce Strategy as part of the work of the Medical Workforce Reform Advisory Committee (MWRAC) which is expected to result in a scoping framework to inform the strategy and consultations are underway. The Department provided an update on the National Rural Generalist Pathway; the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out of Pocket Costs to look at transparency of costs as part of a broader package of private health insurance reforms; guidelines for surveillance colonoscopy; the Medicare Provider Compliance process of developing strategies for medical and pharmacy groups.  Changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule via the review taskforce were noted as continuing and current consultations included specialist and consultant physicians, allied health, mental health, nurse practitioners and participating midwives.

The Medical Board of Australia was represented through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulating Agency (AHPRA). The consultation process on complementary medicine was raised in the context of protecting the right to choose access to healthcare.

The Board is to develop guidelines to support Mandatory Reporting which will include an awareness campaign. The forum noted the decision by government regarding fines for persons claiming to be medical practitioners when not registered or entitled to do so. The Board is continuing its work on the Professional Performance Framework, and will commence preliminary consultation on the revised CPD registration standard that includes the proposed changes outlined in the PPF.

The report from the National Health & Medical Research Council was noted.

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association reported on its work in relation to the National Medical Training Advisory Network (NMTAN) Specialist Trainees in the Medical Workforce Project, the AIDA’s Cultural Safety Training: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Clinical Practice one-day clinically-focused training program, and the AIDA Conference 2019 will be held from 2-4 October at the Darwin Convention Centre and is themed: Disruptive Innovations in Health Care.

The Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Healthcare was represented by Professor Villis Marshall AC, who focussed on the level of prescribing of antibiotics, national clinical trials and the revision of Open Disclosure guidelines.

The Australian Medical Association was represented by Dr Tony Bartone, President who reported on the positive significant investment in general practice as part of the government’s Budget announcements, and the need to ease the pressure on the public hospital system and support primary care. Dr Bartone updated the forum on the well-attended AMA Colleges, Association and Societies Forum discussion on current and emerging policy issues for the Australian medical education and training sector such as the Professional Performance Framework; the National Training Survey; tackling mental ill-health in doctors and medical students; and, out of pocket costs with regards to informed financial consent.

The Medical Deans of Australia & New Zealand as represented by Professor Richard Murray, reported on the GP Training Program having been in place for twenty years without review, and discussed the Accreditation Systems Review. Being the last meeting for Professor Murray the Forum thanked him.

The Confederation Postgrad Medical Education Council was an apology for this meeting.

The Australian Medical Student’s Association provided an update on the wide range of policy issues the association is focussed on, highlighting training, student wellbeing and access to clinical placements.

The AMA Council of Doctors in Training report was noted with particular reference to accredited and unaccredited training positions.

At the conclusion of the Forum, members of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges received guests and discussed strategy, concluding at 4pm.

The next meeting of CPMC will occur in Brisbane on Thursday 22nd August 2019 at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Queensland Regional Office.

Contact: Ms Angela Magarry, CEO CPMC at email: ceo@cpmc.edu.au