Vol. 20 No 1 | Autumn 2018
From the CEO
Alana Killen

This article is 6 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Members of the College will be aware that the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has been undergoing a review of the existing CPD registration standard for medical practitioners over the past two years. This review has now been completed and the final report of the Expert Advisory Group has been handed down and may be viewed on the MBA website: www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/Professional-Performance-Framework.aspx. The MBA has accepted the final report on revalidation and its recommendations, including not to adopt the term ‘revalidation’ as it does not accurately describe the Board’s approach. Rather, the MBA is proposing to develop a Professional Performance Framework to support doctors in taking responsibility for their own professional development.

The Five Pillars of the Professional Performance Framework are:

  1. Strengthened CPD by:
    • Doing CPD that is relevant to the scope of practice
    • Basing CPD on a personal professional development plan
    • Doing at least 50 hours of CPD per year that includes a mix of:
    i. Reviewing performance
    ii. Measuring outcomes
    iii. Educational activities
  2. Active assurance of safe practice, which will include:
    • Identifying practitioners at risk of poor performance and managing that risk
    • Requiring practitioners who provide clinical care to have peer review and health checks at the age of 70 and every three years thereafter
    • Requiring professionally isolated doctors to do more CPD that involves peer review
  3. Strengthened assessment and management of medical practitioners with multiple substantiated complaints, which will involve participation in formal peer review of performance.
  4. Guidance to support practitioners, which will include:
    • Revising Good Medical Practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia
    • Refining existing and developing new registration standards
    • Issuing other guidance as required
  5. Collaborations to foster a positive culture of medicine by:
    • Promoting a culture of medicine that is focused on patient safety
    • Working with the profession to reshape the culture of respect
    • Encouraging doctors to:
    i. Commit to reflective practice and lifelong learning
    ii. Take care of their own health and wellbeing
    iii. Support their colleagues
    • Urging governments and other holders of large data to make it accessible to individual practitioners to support practice improvements.

Supporting our members

RANZCOG has been closely following the ‘revalidation’ discussion and process to ensure that the transition to the new registration requirements is as seamless and efficient as possible. The MBA has indicated that this transition process is likely to take place over a period of several years, so this enables the College to develop the necessary tools, templates, resources and programs to support our members with the new arrangements. Many of the details have yet to be finalised and will be done in collaboration with the many stakeholders. Questions still to be answered include: which agencies will be responsible for certain activities (for example, identifying practitioners at risk of poor performance, health checks for doctors over 70 years old, peer reviews, remediation); and what will be the role of the medical colleges within this new structure?

Private practice

Over the past few months, the College has been conducting a number of focus groups to discuss the issues associated with private practice. Following the survey conducted at the end of 2017, it was determined that additional support and advocacy efforts needed to be directed towards this important area of the O&G specialty. It is recognised that many families are electing to discontinue private health insurance, which is placing pressure on the public health system due to increasing demand. The subsequent impact on our members, their practice and future careers needs to be examined and discussed with plans established to manage the changes to the O&G workforce. We rely heavily on information provided by our Fellows regarding type of practice, specialty, subspecialty, hours, location and other relevant information, so your assistance in keeping our data current is greatly appreciated.

Training Support Unit

Since the launch of the Training Support Unit (TSU) at the College Annual Scientific Meeting in November 2017, the unit has been kept busy with queries and requests from trainees and supervisors. The TSU can support trainees experiencing difficulty in a number of ways: providing support and advice; providing information about existing resources, agencies and organisations; and referring trainees to the College’s external assistance program, provided by Converge International. This enables trainees to access:

  • Support that is confidential and private
  • Up to three sessions of counselling, family assistance and crisis counselling per calendar year (funded by RANZCOG)
  • Support that can be tailored to meet individual needs (face to face, telephone or online)
  • Services available across Australia and New Zealand

Future plans for the TSU include the appointment of a Supervisor Liaison Officer to provide support and information to those undertaking the critical role of supervising trainees in RANZCOG programs.

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