Continuing Professional Development
We have been listening to your concerns about attending CPD activities this year and have been in discussions with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and the Medical Council of New Zealand about extending the CPD 2020 year beyond 12 months. Pending the outcome of these discussions and the MBA’s board meeting on Wednesday 26 March, we will communicate these changes to you late next week.

Elective surgery
We recognise that different health jurisdictions are approaching elective surgery differently, but there are some principles that should be common. Further to previous advice in preparing for the possibility of a reduction or cancellation of elective surgery, we recommend the following: 

  • Review all scheduled elective procedures in consultation with your hospital and respective health departments and plan to minimise, postpone, or cancel scheduled elective operations. Consult with your hospital and respective health departments. It is important that surgeons provide expert advice around prioritisation.
  • Where you must conduct elective surgery, triage patients to ensure that the most urgent Category 1 patients are done first (these typically include cancer, cardiovascular and other cases with progressive symptoms).
  • When conducting elective surgery, consider whether patients will need ICU beds. To keep beds and theatres available, prepare for the possibility of needing to transfer suitable cases to other hospitals.
  • Minimise use of essential items needed to care for patients, including but not limited to, ICU beds, personal protective equipment, terminal cleaning supplies, and ventilators. 


Working in non-surgical roles
In a situation where the pandemic escalates rapidly, surgeons and particularly Trainees, may be asked to work in non-surgical roles, or in roles outside of their specialty. 

We should remember that we are firstly doctors, and as such obliged to care for the sick and injured in whatever way we are able. However, it is important to ensure that we get relevant training or supervision to undertake extra duties. 

In these unusual times, circumstances will dictate what may be asked of us, and we should be prepared to assist where we can.

We also advise carefully checking your medical indemnity insurance.

Refunds
We are working through a large volume of refunds due to recent event cancellations. This volume of refunds is unusual for RACS, and the time taken to properly process and transfer through the payment gateways and financial institutions is taking longer than usual. Please be assured that full refunds will be made with no penalties or cancellation fees incurred. We are working with our banking services and request your patience as this process may take up to two months to complete from the time of cancellation.

General resources
In addition to the COVID-19 information hub we have set-up on our website, we have the following resources that have been forwarded by Fellows:


Useful links