Welcome to 2023 and Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful, safe and festive holiday season with your loved ones, and you have had a great start to the year.
I would like to thank all of our members and trainees who continued to work tirelessly over the busy holiday period to provide ongoing quality service and care to patients and communities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
A new year always brings new renewed motivation, ideas and perspective. As mentioned in my last article for 2023, we have some major projects taking place at RANZCOG this year.
This year we will announce a new President Elect, as well as members of the College Board and the new 13th Council, following a formal election process. The 12th College Council will complete their term in November and induction of a new Council and College committees will take place.
RANZCOG will submit our Reaccreditation report with the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) in May. Assessing the extent to which the College meets accreditation standards for its FRANZCOG, subspecialty, CPD and SIMG programs, the AMC will review the College’s written submission, observe the College’s exam and various operational aspects. College stakeholders (trainees, supervisors and external stakeholders) will be invited to comment on the College’s training programs and a number of training sites will be visited to gather feedback from key hospital stakeholders. The AMC will also visit the College during July 2023 Council week, to meet with relevant committees and other key stakeholders involved in College governance and operations.
The theme of this issue of O&G Magazine is People of the Land and I think this is a perfect theme to start the year with. It signifies the idea of embedding our cultures, and the cultures of those who came before us, into the fabric of the work that we do.
Last year, RANZCOG had the privilege of being a notable sponsor at the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) Conference in the Yugambeh region of the Gold Coast, where we heard from some inspirational Indigenous speakers and had the opportunity to meet with prospective Indigenous doctors to our O&G workforce. It reiterated the importance of the land as the heart and soul of Indigenous culture, the spirit of community and how these aspects weave into every facet of life, including healthcare and the provision of appropriate care and services to First Nations people.
This year, RANZCOG is working towards finalising the next iteration of our Reconciliation Action Plan and a key focus of this Plan is on recruitment and retention, to build and empower a sustainable First Nations workforce in Australia.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, the health reforms are focused on te Tititi o Waitangi, and transforming the health system will create a more equitable, accessible, cohesive and people-centred system that will improve the health and wellbeing of all. RANZCOG’s Te Rautaki Māori me te Ara Whakamua (Māori Strategy and Action Plan) continues to guide our work in improving equity in O&G care. Some completed actions from Te Ara Whakamua so far are creating a te reo Māori style guide, review of CPD points for the MIHI501 cultural competence course, and hosting our Aotearoa ASM with a foundation of Māori health equity. All these actions, and others, will continue to grow our understanding of how RANZCOG can best make change towards health equity in Aotearoa.
RANZCOG continued our relationship with Te ORA, and we had the chance to host a webinar where some of our Māori doctors discussed various topics, including O&G during the pandemic, muka and Māori birthing practices. Te ORA also worked alongside the Council of Medical Colleges to develop a cultural safety framework that RANZCOG is excited to implement.
As RANZCOG continues our journey, Te Rautaki Māori me te Ara Whakamua will grow and adapt, and lay the pathway. 2023 will have a large focus on how we support our Māori trainees, with a research project regarding Māori trainee recruitment and retention a top priority.
Cultural safety needs to be acknowledged, understood and respected by all.
I hope that you enjoy this edition of O&G Magazine.