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June 2022

Please be aware that the MyRACMA system will be unavailable on Tuesday 2nd April at 07:00 (AEDT) as we will be performing scheduled maintenance. We anticipate a downtime of 30 minutes.

I am very proud to congratulate our Queen’s Birthday Honour recipients for 2022 and acknowledge their longstanding and ongoing commitment to Medical Administration, leadership and management, medicine and healthcare.

  • Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM FRACMA (Queensland Governor and former Queensland Chief Health officer) received Companion (AC) in the General Division
  • Dr Brendan Murphy (Honorary Fellow) received Companion (AC) in the General Division
  • Dr Ewen McPhee AFRACMA received Member (AM) in the General Division
  • Dr Michelle Mulligan AFRACMA received Medal (OAM) in the General Division

I would also like to acknowledge Dr Robyn Langham, a current participant in our Leadership for Clinicians program, who received Member (AM) in the General Division for her significant service to renal health research, and to tertiary medical education.

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues for their exemplar work in Medical Administration and Medicine and for being wonderful Medical Leader role models and supporters of the College.

At the end of this week, we will be holding the College’s Board Strategic Planning meeting where we plan to brainstorm actions to implement real projects aligned with each of the Strategic Plan’s four pillars of:

  • VOICE: To be the recognised & respected voice of Health Leadership, Management, and Governance
  • EDUCATION AND TRAINING: To be the pre-eminent provider of Medical Leadership & Management Education and Training.
  • MEMBER SERVICES & SUPPORT: To Deliver high-quality Member Services & Support.
  • INFLUENCE: To advance and expand our influence as a College.

We will look at high level prioritisation, resource calibration and a sense check for what is needed to achieve the College’s overall vision. The Board will also look at macro issues for ‘mental lubrication’, which will involve an environmental scan of key issues for consideration, and our way forward with policy and advocacy.

Following the strategic planning day, the College Board will undertake its first Cultural Planning Day as part of our commitment to our Reconciliation Action Plan. It is part of our first step in our commitment to improving health outcomes of First Nations Peoples and building relationships with First Nation’s Peoples to develop opportunities and pathways for Indigenous leaders. The training will cover:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ connection to Country and kin
  • Holistic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Racism
  • Developing an Anti-Racist skillset
  • Cultural Safety
  • Implementation

You may have noted our media statement promoting increased engagement with the new Federal Government. Leading up to the Federal election we set clear priorities to advocate to the government around:

  1. Improving Medical Workforce Planning
  2. Improving Workplace Culture
  3. Building and Developing Medical Leadership in Remote, Rural and Regional Australia
  4. Addressing Climate Change and its flow on affects to healthcare for the community
  5. Mandating FRACMAs and AFRACMAs in all healthcare settings

As the college of specialist Medical Leaders, we will be working hard to ensure healthcare remains a priority on the political agenda to ensure that the healthcare delivered to the community continues to be high quality, safe and equitable. I will be setting up a number of meetings with key government health officials and ministers of the new Government.
We are ready to work with Mr Albanese, and the incoming Australian Government, to make sure we have the proper workforce and workplace measures and systems in place to protect our workers, the health system and Australians across all areas of the nation.

Last month I attended the AHPRA Culture of Medicine Symposium which looked at a range of interventions which promote a positive culture in medicine. Action is needed both by individuals and collectively by organisations. Evidence from the Medical Training Survey is that this concerning issue continues with little change over the years of the survey.

The symposium heard from a wide range of speakers including:

  • A/Prof Stephen Adelstein from the Medical Board of Australia who spoke about the journey of the National Medical Training Survey.
  • Dr Hannah Szewczyk and Dr Hash Abdeen from the Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors in Training
  • Dr Peter Baldwin from the Black Dog Institute
  • Prof Johanna Westbrook, Macquarie University, on the evidence of the impact of poor workplace culture on patient safety and possible interventions
  • Dr Karen Nicholls and Dr Glenn Harrison from the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association, who addressed racism in the workplace
  • Professor Michelle Tuckey from the University of South Australia, who showcased identifying systemic issues risk management of workplace bullying

A full summary of the symposium will be published in Quarterly 2 at the beginning of July.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of our new Lead Fellow in Policy and Advocacy, Dr Mary Boyd Turner, who has swiftly led the development of RACMA’s responses and submissions to the key consultations below:

  • Medical Board of Australia Draft Revised Guidelines: Telehealth consultations with patients

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Consultation Paper on Consumer Health Complaints

As always, if you have any ideas or feedback about the future direction of the College and its work, please email me

Kind regards

Dr Helen Parsons CSC FRACMA

RACMA President