Since the most recent update in November 2020, the RACGP Board has met on a number of occasions to review the last year and plan for what will be an ambitious 2021 for the RACGP and our members.
The 63rd Board of the RACGP formally welcomed five new members – Dr Karen Price (President), Dr Anita Munoz (RACGP Victoria Chair), Dr Michael Clements (RACGP Rural Chair), Dr Sean Black-Tiong (GPs in Training Chair) and Dr Tess Van Duuren (Censor-in-Chief).
Karen has of course been working with us as President-elect since September last year, Tess was previously Acting Censor-in-Chief and Michael was Acting Rural Chair from the time Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda assumed the role of President in July 2020 following the death of Dr Harry Nespolon.
In December 2020, the Board convened in Sydney for a meeting and strategic planning day. We continued our analysis of key strategic standing items, including RACGP-led training and the Membership Engagement Strategy for 2021.
RACGP-led training represents an exciting opportunity for the college to play a central role in redefining and delivering training pathways. The Board is committed to working with the Federal Government, Department of Health and other stakeholders, such as the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), to ensure doctors obtain the best quality and experience from training. The Board is actively engaged in promoting and advocating for a best practice training model.
In relation to the Membership Strategy, the Board is clear about the importance of RACGP delivering members an industry-leading continuing professional development (CPD) product.
We are also determined that Associate Members should have equal voting rights at RACGP, which will require reform of the college constitution.
The Board also reviewed the governance of the RACGP Foundation and the relationship of RACGP (through the great work of the faculties) with localPrimary Health Networks (PHNs).
Following our December meeting, the Board had scheduled a Strategic Planning session, which took place on 14 January. The session was a great opportunity to check in with the 2020–22 RACGP Strategic Plan, and we examined a number of key issues:
- RACGP-led training
- RACGP exams in 2021 and beyond
- We discussed the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID pandemic and the optimal mode for delivering exams in 2021
- CEO Dr Matthew Miles was asked to establish a review of the RACGP exam methodology, delivery, efficacy and pricing, and to report back to Board at regular intervals
- We also determined to freeze pricing for 2021 exams at 2020 the level
- Strategic Plan
- The Board noted the ambitious amount of work the RACGP intends to deliver under the Strategic Plan, and we put in place a review process to prioritise key projects to benefit members
- Vaccination strategy
- The Board is committed to ensuring the role of general practice in receiving vaccination as frontline healthcare workers and in delivering vaccinations to the community is fully understood by Government.
- The RACGP is meeting regularly with the Federal Health Minister and the Department of Health in developing a clinical governance model that takes account of the many issues regarding national vaccination strategy, including informed consent, record management, general health and welfare of patients, side-effect management and timing issues regarding dual-dose vaccines and the influenza vaccine
- We continue to emphasise that the safest and best vaccine rollout has general practice at its core