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May 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.

While we as Medical Leaders manage to navigate the “new normal” operating environment, the College is forging forward with its commitment to our Strategic Plan.

At this month’s Board Meeting the RACMA budget for 2022/23 was approved, which has been prepared based on the anticipated activity of the College for the next 12 months in line with the current changing landscape and the RACMA 2021-24 Strategic Plan.

The key feature in the 2022/2023 Budget is significant investment in the “Nexus” project. The aim of Nexus is to create a purpose built, integrated business system providing members with an end to end, self-service experience and increasing efficiencies by decreasing manual intervention by staff supporting new member and education processes.

The Board recognises that inflationary costs in the community will flow on to the operations of the College and as a result, many anticipated areas of expenditure have been increased.

I would also like to advise the membership that subscription and training fees are set to increase by 5% in the next financial year, and more detailed information regarding these changes will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Discussion also continued around modifications to the membership and fee structure and updating some of the membership categories, with the Board deciding more clarification is needed before the proposed new structure is circulated to the membership for consultation.

The Board formally endorsed the current Medical Workforce Planning Working Group becoming a formal RACMA sub-committee and will now be known as the Medical Workforce Committee (MWC) reporting to the Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAC).

Currently RACMA does not have an articulated policy and process to assure professional standards and/or a Professional Standards Committee (PSC) and a RACMA specific Code of Conduct as occurs in other health and non-health professional organisations.

RACMA needs to identify how it assures professional standards and consider how this needs to be strengthened and establishment of a RACMA PSC. Hence, the green light was given to establishing a working group to:

  • identify how RACMA currently assures professional standards;
  • identify how this needs to be strengthened;
  • consider establishment of a RACMA PSC; and
  • develop a Code of Conduct.

It is important as a College and professional body to support Members in demonstrating their alliance and membership. And so, the Board approved the introduction of lapel pins for Fellows and Associate Fellows of the College as a tangible item that clearly demonstrates their membership with RACMA.

The lapel pins will be included in Welcome Packs that are sent to new Fellows and Associate Fellows, while existing Fellows and Associate Fellows will be provided with a relevant lapel pin either at this year’s conference or via post upon request.

In the last newsletter I mentioned I would be chairing the Council of President of Medical Colleges’ (CPMC) Respectful Workplace Culture and Trainee Experience Steering Committee. Our first meeting was held, which discussed:

  • codes of conduct of colleges
  • compiling resources such as professionalism competencies, supervisor training curriculums and training courses for college members on diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, respectful behaviours in the workplace and speaking up
  • consumer and trainee representatives will be sourced for the committee.

Two members of this Steering Committee, including myself, will be nominated as members of the Medical Board of Australia’s Medical Training Survey Steering Committee, meeting quarterly to oversight development of annual surveys, monitoring of results, and addressing specific areas of identified concern.

As you are all aware, RACMA is committed to gender equality within the College and across Medical Leadership in the healthcare sector. We are a lead partner with the Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership project taking the lead on Organisational Change Management research, which is being conducted over four phases. The first phase of the project has been very insightful and successful, comprising a series of in-depth interviews of Members to understand what matters, what works and what can be done to increase the number of women in healthcare leadership via RACMA and more broadly within the healthcare sector. Please visit the RACMA website for the latest update.

As we move to increase the visibility and awareness of RACMA and its Members, CEO Cris Massis, Director of Education Angela Chan, and myself recently met with Dr Michael Cusack – Chief Medical Officer for South Australia Healthto discuss the implementation of the National Medical Workforce Strategy 2021–2031. Dr Cusack is keen to work with the specialist colleges and other partners to ensure a collaborative approach and requested advice on College plans for implementation of the strategy in South Australia.

We took the opportunity to iterate the College’s vision to have all Directors Medical Services and similar roles filled with specialty qualified College Fellows, the importance of formal leadership and management training and the AFRACMA for all Clinical Directors and Heads of Department, and the need for a strong pipeline of registrars, Fellows and Associate Fellows at all stages of career development across metro and rural sites.

The meeting also canvassed the idea of having a centralised pool of Fellowship Candidates rotating through the length of their training time in posts in the Ministry, public and private settings, and the support provided by the College and other jurisdictions for training. It was agreed to continue discussions on the project and the College will support a mapping exercise and needs analysis for Medical Leadership and training in South Australia.

I would like to draw your attention to the New Zealand Health System Reforms. We recently had NZ Director-General of Health and Chief Executive and RACMA Honorary Fellow Dr Ashley Bloomfield deliver an overview of the rollout of the new Health System in NZ and how it is being received. The reform has been met with mixed views and the College will be providing support to New Zealand Members. I encourage the wider membership to reach out to their New Zealand colleagues as they navigate their way through the major changes. Lastly, I would like to remind all Members to register for RACMA22 and take advantage of the early bird rates before the end of financial year. A number of talented and renowned speakers have been secured to explore the theme of Equity and Access – Healthcare for All. We hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us in Hobart, Tasmania, but we are providing an online option to facilitate participation of our colleagues who are unable to travel. All presentations will be streamed to online delegates, with presentations available to view by all attendees in the online conference portal for three months following the conference.

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