Consultation on stage 5 for specialist items for telehealth 
We have written to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer on stage 5 of COVID-19 phone and telehealth services available for patients for specialist services on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
Specifically, we have asked that surgeons be given access to attendances using MBS items 104 and 105 for face-to-face consultations, and restrictions removed to increase services to patients during COVID-19.
Additionally, we have also asked that smaller health services managed by surgical specialists be supported to conduct consultation with patients by tele/videoconference or in a direct conversation with the referring provider. This latter option will require new MBS items as it cannot be listed as a multidisciplinary team. Read more.

Free online lung ultrasound course in support of the COVID-19 response
The University of Melbourne is running a new free course in lung ultrasound. This is a bespoke program with highlights of specific lung ultrasound findings in COVID-19. It includes the pre-existing online and simulator-based lung ultrasound course which would provide additional background learning for those that have not previously used lung ultrasound. Access the course.  

ANZAPS COVID-19 guidelines
 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons (ANZAPS) has released COVID-19 guidelines, documents of interest as well as a proforma to be used with COVID-19 cases.

ASOHNS Review of Guidance for PPE for ENT surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic
A substantial amount of this document has been adapted from the NZSOHNS PPE Guidelines for ENT, Head and Neck Surgery published by RACS on 31 March 2020.
This guidance is intended to complement existing advice and recommendations from previous statements:

Guidelines on surgical teams and case selection during COVID-19
USANZ has released Guidelines on Surgical Teams and Case Selection during COVID-19. The document is now also available on the USANZ website.

Update on RACS Scholarship and Grant Program
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our Scholarship and Grant Program. Consequently, the Board of Council will focus this year on giving greater flexibility to current scholarship recipients, and pausing the majority of scholarships, grants and fellowships due to be selected in 2020.
Please visit our website for more information.

Workplace obligations and managing your cashflow through COVID-19 - free webinar
The Coronavirus outbreak is changing and evolving every day. It is a stressful and confusing time for all of us, especially if you are an employer whose business is being affected. Whether you operate your own rooms or work as an individual in the public or private hospital sector, this is an important webinar not to be missed.
Date: Wednesday 8 April 2020
Time: 7.00pm - 8.00pm
Venue: Webinar
Please note this webinar will be hosted on the ZOOM platform. It is recommended that you download the ZOOM application before the webinar (

Useful links