RACS Advocacy

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ACCC's Review on Quad Bike Safety

08 May 2018

Thank you for the invitation to the Quad bike safety stakeholder roundtable on 5 April 2018 and the opportunity to provide further input to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's review of quad bike safety.


Closing The Gap Refresh

01 May 2018

RACS formalised its commitment to reconciliation in 2016 with the launch of RACS Reconciliation Action Plan. For RACS the journey towards reconciliation is focused on improving opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors seeking careers in surgery, and medical education.


Submission to the Inquiry into progress under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020

12 April 2018

RACS sees real potential to significantly reduce road-related deaths and serious injury if governments can take immediate action in the following areas:

  1. Engage multiple government portfolios to become involved in the prevention of road trauma.
  2. Improve the quality of road trauma data by establishing agreed definitions, methodologies, and measurement tools.
  3. Document the complete journey of the seriously injured patient to gain a better understanding of the true cost of injury and where and how it is occurring.
  4. Advocate for legislation for enhanced safety features for all new vehicles (cars and heavy vehicles)
  5. Activate point to point cameras for all road users.
  6. Safer behaviour for all road-users.
  7. Speed.


Inquiry into cosmetic health service complaints in New South Wales

06 April 2018

The New South Wales Committee's position is:

  • That further protections need to be put in place, particularly around confusing naming.
  • The title "surgeon" should be protected for use by Fellows of recognised organisations such as RACS, or equivalent in other fields.
  • There needs to be further protections in place in regards to the registration and practices of beauty salons. With all injectable procedures prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  • We also feel that the Health Care Complaints Inquiry has influence over registered practitioners and organisations; however increased visibility over the practitioners and organisations, qualifications, experience and scope would potentially speed up process and also protect the consumer more and
  • Collaboration is essential to continual development of safe practice.


Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (NZ)

05 April 2018

RACS recently considered the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in response to legislation proposed in South Australia in early 2017.

At that time we felt there was insufficient evidence to support the medicinal use of cannabis, and we do not believe additional evidence has been forthcoming in the past year.

While some scientific evidence exists to indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabis-derived products, there is also considerable evidence highlighting the dangers of frequent cannabis use.

Overall the scientific and clinical evidence to justify legalisation is poor, and consequently RACS has formed the position not to support the pathway for patient access to medicinal cannabis in New Zealand or Australia.


AHPRA draft revised guidelines 'Sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship'

26 March 2018

In preparing a response, RACS consulted with surgical specialty societies and associations. While there were no significant concerns with the existing guidelines, we felt that revised document is readable, clear and relevant to the surgical professional. RACS has no additional changes to offer and supports the proposed revisions.


National Alcohol Strategy 2018-2026

26 February 2018

RACS has advocated against the harmful effects of alcohol for many years, not only for the increased risk of complication it poses to surgical patients, but also for the broader ramifications it has on the sustainability of our public health system and society as a whole. Overall, the estimated one in eight hospitalisations relating to alcohol misuse continue to represent a significant and concerning proportion of health system workload.

RACS recognises the importance of the Australian and state and territory governments working collaboratively with non-government agencies and community groups to reduce the social, economic and health costs of alcohol. To this end, we provided input to the 2015 National Alcohol Strategy consultation. Regular updates on the development and implementation of the National Alcohol Strategy 2018-2026 will assist us in providing ongoing expertise.


Inquiry into the future sustainability of health funding in the ACT

23 February 2018

Key Points

  • The sustainability of health funding in the ACT depends upon a collaborative approach from the government, health services, clinicians and patients.
  • Clinicians should be better engaged in funding decisions and service planning, and educated about health economics and wastage.
  • Further investigation is needed into the reasons why cost per weighted separation in the ACT is second highest in the country.
  • RACS supports the Government's focus on preventative health measures and efforts to reduce unnecessary presentations to emergency departments.


Tasmanian Election Statement 2018

16 February 2018

RACS has identified six key focus areas relevant to the 2018 Tasmanian Election:

  1. Teaching, Training and Research
  2. Elective Surgery Waiting Lists
  3. Clinical Engagement and a Culture of Respect
  4. Tasmanian Audit of Surgical Mortality
  5. Alcohol Related Harm
  6. Trauma


South Australian Election Statement 2018

22 January 2018

RACS has identified seven key focus areas relevant to the 2018 South Australian Election:

  1. Delivery of Surgical Services across the local health networks
  2. Clinician engagement
  3. Teaching, Training and Research
  4. Surgical Technology
  5. South Australian Audit of Surgical Mortality
  6. Alcohol Related Harm
  7. Recognition of Paid Parental Leave Entitlements and Diversification of Surgical Workforce 

Download Response from the SA Best Party (PDF 380KB)

Download Summary of Responses from all Parties (PDF 32KB)

Download Response from the Australian Conservatives Party (PDF 24KB)


2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

09 January 2018

RACS has identified five key focus areas relevant to the 2018-19 Budget:

  1. Maintaining high quality and timely access to healthcare
  2. Recognition of the burden of trauma on the healthcare system
  3. National leadership to reduce alcohol-related harm
  4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  5. Surgical training and academic pathways


Early access to superannuation to cover the costs of medical services, including Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) listed services

21 December 2017

In principle, RACS does not support early access to superannuation for surgical procedures. Where there is a genuine need to treat a life threatening illness or alleviate acute or chronic pain or mental disturbance, RACS believes that this should be accessible via the public hospital system.


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Review of Quad Bike Safety

15 December 2017

RACS recommends that the ACCC implement the TARS Australasian Terrain Vehicle Assessment Program for quad bikes and side by side vehicles or a system identical in essence to the New Car Assessment Program as a matter of priority. The results from the TARS research indicate that this would lead to significant improvements in safety through safer vehicle choice, safer vehicles being developed and marketed, and increased safety awareness among users.


Submission to the NSW Upper House Portfolio Committee 1 Inquiry into Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015

06 December 2017

The NSW RACS Committee and the NSW Trauma Committee greatly appreciates the opportunity to make a submission to the NSW Upper House Portfolio Committee 1 Inquiry into Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015.

RACS is an organisation with interests in public health and safety, and notes with concern, that current bias in NSW is weighted heavily in favour of the alcohol retail industry, with insufficient regard for community concern, or to alcohol related harm reduction.

As a NSW stakeholder group, RACS surgeons, along with other health professionals, treat the consequences of alcohol related harms, downstream effects of increased availability of alcohol, increased density of liquor outlets, decreased prices of alcohol and the increased advertising and promotion of alcohol sale and consumption.


Victorian Statutory Duty of Candour

28 November 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons supports efforts being undertaken to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of all health services and hospitals in the Victorian health system.

Much of what is proposed in this set of legislative reforms is already adequately covered by current open disclosure requirements and multiple professional codes of conducts across the medical professions. Acknowledging that the recommendation for this change arose from significant organisational failures the focus of this legislation should be on improving transparency and disclosure requirements at the senior organisational level.

If this legislative reform is progressed it is imperative that there is a clear distinction between an apology for an adverse outcome and an admission of guilt.


Briefing to the Incoming Minister (NZ)

22 November 2017

On behalf of our New Zealand Fellows and Trainees, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons wishes to congratulate you on your new appointment as the Minister of Health. Over the next three years we look forward to working with you, the Government and the Ministry to ensure that New Zealanders have on-going access to high quality healthcare.

The aim of this document is to provide a brief overview of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and the issues which we perceive to be of importance to the provision of quality surgical care in New Zealand. We outline below the issues and the actions that we believe need to be taken to address these.


Queensland Election Statement 2017

09 November 2017

Prior to State and Federal elections, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons provides an opportunity for political parties to outline policy positions on key issues relating to the delivery of surgical services. The College then distributes the responses to its membership and the broader community. This document outlines the areas of specific concern and relevance to the Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates of Queensland in the lead-up to the forthcoming State election. The College believes that considered and informed policy positions will allow the Queensland Region of the College to advocate effectively to ensure the best outcomes for patients


Victorian Government's Data Set Proposals

20 October 2017

In October 2016 the Victorian Regional Committee wrote to the Department when this change was first proposed outlining our concerns and recommendations for this Proposal. We reiterate these comments in this feedback.


Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions

19 October 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback to the COAG Health Council on this consultation, however we felt that the template and options for consideration provided were problematic, hence we are writing to you directly with our concerns. In particular we are concerned about the potential cost of a new model of accreditation as proposed in the Draft Report, in the absence of any obvious benefits to patient care.


RACS First Principles Review of the Medical Indemnity Insurance Fund

18 October 2017

RACS welcomes the First Principles Review, and we believe it is reasonable and practical to routinely review all government programs to ensure that they are sustainable, remain relevant and are delivering their intended benefits. The College does not dispute that there are enhancements that could be made to improve the efficiency of the schemes that underpin the Indemnity Insurance Fund (IIF). However, RACS cautions against making widespread changes to what has been predominantly a well-functioning and successful area of public policy.


Mandatory Reporting Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

28 September 2017

Our position is that options 3 and 4 have merit to them. We favour option 3 slightly over 4 and would consider a hybrid between 3 and 4 as a viable option


Australian Government Surgical Mesh Consultation

14 September 2017

With rapid increases in medical knowledge, technological advancements and the development of highly individualised packets of care available to meet specific patient requirements, being appropriately informed on these aspects of continuing education remains the responsibility of each individual surgeon.

The introduction of new technologies and treatments is dependent on the publishing of supportive peer-reviewed articles demonstrating efficacy without undue risk, and practitioners ensuring they have acquired the appropriate levels of knowledge and skill. This is most satisfactorily monitored through the robust credentialing of practitioners and their work environment, expected as part of each practitioner's employment or right to access surgical facilities.


Tasmanian Inquiry into Acute Health Services

31 August 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is aware the consultation period for this Inquiry closed on 18 August. Unfortunately due to a combination of factors RACS was unable to respond by the proposed deadline, however we are hopeful that the contents of this letter can still be taken in to consideration as part of the Inquiry.


Inquiry Into the Value and Affordability of Private Health Insurance and Out-of-Pocket Costs- Response to Question on Notice

28 August 2017

Thank you for offering the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons an opportunity to provide evidence as part of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee inquiry into the value and affordability of private health insurance and out of pocket medical costs.

Our response provides answers to the questions taken on notice at the public hearing on 5 July 2017.


New Zealand Election Statement and Party Responses

28 July 2017

Prior to all state and national elections, RACS sends an election statement to all major parties on key issues RACS considers to be of particular importance to the provision of surgical care.

In the lead-up to the 2017 New Zealand General Election, RACS distributed an election statement to all the major New Zealand parties posing policy questions on the following five key issues:

  1. Elective prioritisation and unmet need
  2. Māori health equity
  3. Alcohol-related harm
  4. Obesity
  5. Health workforce

The parties were given five weeks to respond to the election statement. Their responses were collated and distributed to all New Zealand Fellows, Trainees and IMGs.


Evaluation of The Community Impact Statement Requirement for Liquor Licence applications (NSW)

28 July 2017

The NSW RACS Committee and the NSW Trauma Committee greatly appreciates the opportunity to make a submission regarding the NSW Evaluation of The Community Impact Statement Requirement for Liquor Licence applications.


Victorian Health Legislation Amendment (Quality and Safety Bill) 2017

27 July 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons supports efforts being undertaken to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of the Victorian Health system.


Credentialling and Scope of Clinical Practice for Senior Medical Practitioners Draft Policy (Victoria)

26 July 2017

RACS has completed the response sheet provided by Safer Care Victoria.


SA Pathology Proposed Operational Configuration and Workforce Model

21 July 2017

Our main concern with the proposed reconfiguration of pathology services is the reliance the new model places on the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS). The desire to move towards an electronic based model is understandable; however any system reliant on technology involves inherent risk. Inevitably at some point technical difficulties will occur. In a health setting where even minor glitches can lead to catastrophic outcomes, it is crucial that these risks are mitigated, and disruptions are prevented wherever possible.


Western Australian Human Tissue and Transplant Act 1982, Section 24

17 July 2017

After reviewing the consultation paper carefully at our meeting on 12 June 2017, the RACS WA State Committee formed the view that we do not support the suggested amendments to the legislation.


Inquiry into the use and marketing of electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers in Australia

07 July 2017

Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia. Tobacco use is known to cause certain cancers and increase the risk of other diseases and congenital abnormalities. Surgical outcomes are consistently poorer for smokers than non-smokers, with patients who smoke experiencing longer recovery times, increased risk of wound infection, and significantly increased risk for myocardial infarction and stroke. Smokers also have a higher post-surgery mortality rate than non-smokers.

RACS is therefore a strong supporter of the goal outlined in the Commonwealth Government's National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018 to reduce the smoking rate from 15.1% of the population in 2012 to 10% by 2018. In 2012 Australia became the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging laws, and alongside yearly excise increases, plain packaging has proven to be an effective form of tobacco control.


NT 'Towards Zero' Road Safety Action Plan

03 July 2017

Over the past three years in particular, RACS has been vocal about improving road safety standards in the Northern Territory. We were deeply concerned by the reintroduction of open speed limits in 2014, and advocated strongly against this reckless policy. The Government is to be commended for taking a principled stance on this issue and for swiftly reintroducing speed limits following their election. However, it is important that momentum is not lost and that the Government continues to prioritise road safety as a critical area of public policy.

While restrictions on speed are an important safety measure, they are one component of a much broader road safety strategy. Other factors include raising community awareness and promoting safer driving practices, and investing in infrastructure projects that will enhance the quality and condition of Northern Territory roads.


Draft National Competency Framework and Standards for Podiatric Surgeons

30 June 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is pleased to provide feedback on the ANZPAC Draft National Competency Framework and Standards for Podiatric Surgeons. In responding to this request, RACS has sought consultation from the orthopaedic surgical specialty society - the Australian Orthopaedic Association.


Northern Territory Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review

30 June 2017

The dangerous availability, oversupply, promotion and misuse of alcohol is strongly implicated in our high rates of injury due to interpersonal violence, road traffic accidents, family violence and misadventure such as drownings or falls.


Violence against health care workers (Vic)

21 June 2017

RACS believes that violence is unacceptable in any workplace. No employee should be expected to accept any form of physical or verbal violence or abuse as part of their work environment. This type of behaviour is particularly deplorable when it is directed at health care workers.


Setting of Speed Limits New Zealand

16 June 2017

Generally speaking, RACS supports the intent of the proposed Rule and its goal of a sustained reduction in deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads.


Rheumatic Heart Disease – Notifiable Condition (QLD)

02 June 2017

Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever in which the heart valves are damaged. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that begins with strep throat. It can affect connective tissue throughout the body, especially in the heart, joints, brain and skin.


Clarification of minimum qualifications for the provision of ultrasound services under Medicare

31 May 2017

RACS is pleased to provide feedback on the Department of Health's consultation on minimum qualifications for the provision of ultrasound services under Medicare. In responding to this request, we have consulted with several surgical speciality societies to seek their input, which are attached and we would encourage that these be read in conjunction with this submission.


Proposed National Recognition and Response System

22 May 2017

HQSC has posed a number of questions on the proposed system and these have been responded to in our submission.


Investing in New Zealand’s Future Health Workforce. Post-entry training of New Zealand’s future health workforce: Proposed investment approach

19 May 2017

MCNZ has accredited RACS as the training organisation for nine surgical vocational scopes - cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology head & neck surgery, paediatric surgery, plastic & reconstructive surgery, urology and vascular surgery. RACS determines the curriculum, standards and training requirements. It runs the examinations and courses and, in conjunction with specific specialist surgical societies, the administration associated with each programme. The clinical practice components of the programmes occur within District Health Boards (DHBs) who are the employers of the surgical trainees.


Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law)

12 May 2017

RACS has considered the Committee's recent request for comment on the proposed reforms to address the inadequacies of the penalties under the National Law, in light of the recent worrying cases of individuals holding themselves out as health practitioners when they are not registered under the National Law. These rogue operators pose a significant risk to the public, and RACS thanks the Committee and Government's ongoing commitment to implementing substantial reform within this framework.


Implementation Plan Advisory Group (IPAG) Consultation 2017

05 May 2017

In addition to our co-authored submission with the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS), RACS also provides the following submission to the Implementation Plan Advisory Group's (IPAG) consultation on the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.


Implementation Plan Advisory Group (IPAG) Consultation 2017 2

05 May 2017

RACS and ASOHNS recognise that improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a public health priority. The Australian Government's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 (the 'Plan') and its associated Implementation Plan provide a crucial strategy that underpins much of the government and non-government work aimed at addressing the social and cultural determinants of health. In particular the Plan places a strong and healthy cultural identity at the centre of priorities for action.


Letter regarding Tasmanian Role Delineation Framework – Royal Australasian College of Surgeons – Paediatric Surgery Guidelines

05 May 2017

The position paper provides guidelines around the expectations RACS and the Speciality Societies have around the minimum quality of care standards that should be provided to children when undergoing surgical care. The paper also outlines a ten-point plan, which was compiled for the interface between the Specialist General and Paediatric Surgeons in hospitals which may have limited access and resources to paediatric care.


Antimicrobial use and appropriateness in surgical prophylaxis draft Accreditation Advisory

05 May 2017

With respect to the letter from Professor Debora Picone to Mr Philip Truskett regarding antimicrobial use and appropriateness in surgical prophylaxis, RACS agrees that there is an issue in surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis. Although there has been an improvement in the length of time that the antimicrobial prophylaxis is being prescribed for, as noted in your studies from 35.9% in 2014, reduced to 27.4% in 2015, the 2016 data shows that the rate of inappropriate prescribing for surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis was 41.8% overall and 17.9% of prescriptions were for longer than 24 hours. As you correctly point out the benchmark for appropriate prescribing is 95% and this is nowhere near what is being undertaken or achieved at the moment.


Independent Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions

01 May 2017

RACS notes that the discussion paper for the accreditation systems review focuses on a broad range of issues, many which are associated with undergraduate and non-specialist health professionals. Given this, we will largely focus our feedback on the roles of specialist colleges and post-graduate medical councils (number 31 within the consolidated list of issues, p.6).


Response to Safer Care Victoria Clinician Engagement Scoping Paper

28 April 2017

Clinicians are keen to be involved in any process that improves surgical standards across the health system. Surgeons, and RACS, are already heavily involved in numerous quality activities including the Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM) and these efforts should not be duplicated or reinvented. Improving data monitoring and collection should focus on improving and supporting current processes, working with existing quality staff already in place in public hospitals and developing better systems and links with the private system. This will allow surgeons to use their positions of leadership to improve the quality of data collection.


RACS Response to Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Discussion Paper

27 April 2017

Once drafted an Exposure Draft of any Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation should be made available for the industry and public to review prior to its introduction into Parliament.There should be the ability to make submissions to the draft legislation with an appropriate time-frame allowed for these responses.


Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed

18 April 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has developed strong partnerships for surgical care delivery and training with our Pacific and South East Asian neighbours. We write to you in view of your candidature for the position of WHO Director General, a leading position that holds great potential to improve universal health coverage, including access to safe, affordable surgery and anaesthesia care when needed.


Regulation of Certain Cosmetic Surgical Procedures Under the Private Health Facilities Act 1999 Discussion Paper - QLD

13 April 2017

RACS does not support the creation of a new class of surgery within the cosmetic procedures group; however greater oversight of the appropriate credentialing of facilities, including appropriate credentialing of practitioners is needed.

If any type of intravenous sedation is required to perform a procedure, then the surgery should only be undertaken in a licensed facility. This generally means a larger operation which requires the resources and oversight found in a larger facility.


Inquiry into the performance of the Queensland Health Ombudsman's functions pursuant to section 179 of the Health Ombudsman Act 2013

06 April 2017

Thank you for your consultation for the Inquiry into the performance of the Queensland Health Ombudsman (QHO). The College wishes to acknowledge the very in-depth and well-constructed document which has been provided into the performance of the OHO.

The College has the view that the complaints management processes in Queensland have had major problems for more than a decade. There have been a number of bodies tasked with this responsibility over the past decade - Health Rights Commission, Health Quality and Complaints Commission, Office of the Health Ombudsman, Queensland Medical Board, Health Practitioner Registration Boards, National Boards and AHPRA. These organisations, it would appear from the evidence provided over a number of years, have not been able to efficiently or effectively manage the complaints processes.


Medical Council of New Zealand Consultation on Strengthening Recertification for Vocationally Registered Doctors

31 March 2017

In the submission RACS has responded to the MCNZ's specific question and other proposals within the consultation document.


Model Scopes of Clinical Practice Project – Consultation on Tranche 2 of Model Scopes of Clinical Practice

16 March 2017

The NSW State Committee greatly appreciate this opportunity to have further input into the Model Scopes of Clinical Practice Project and we would also like to congratulate you on the high level of communication that you have continually tried to bring to the development. The NSW Committee have been given opportunity to not only discuss the project but also to be involved in its development.


Prevention & Management of Head Injuries in AFL with particular reference to the ‘Sling Tackle’

15 March 2017

We commend the AFL for consulting with the AFL Doctors Association regarding player safety and appreciate the changes made to the interpretation of 'dangerous tackle' in the AFL Laws.

We are thankful that the 'sling tackle' has been prohibited.

We anticipate abolition of the 'sling tackle', and expect severe penalties to be issued to delinquent players guilty of the offence of 'sling tackle'.


Remake of the Health Records and Information Privacy Regulation 2012

14 March 2017

We greatly appreciate this opportunity to comment on the Ministry of Health proposal to remake the Health Records and Information Privacy Regulation in the same form as the 2012 version. We support this action in general but would like to comment on one Clause 6B and ask for clarification on Clause 5.


Response to QoN - Senate Red Tape Committee

09 March 2017

During the hearing we were asked to clarify some points as listed below. Thank you for this further opportunity to provide inpout into this enquiry.


Quad Bike safety in Tasmania Issues Paper

02 March 2017

RACS is extremely concerned about the increasing number of deaths and major injuries as a result of quad bike use. Trauma surgeons who manage these injuries on a far too regular basis are acutely aware of the inherent dangers of quad bikes and have been advocating for quad bike safety for decades.


DFAT Foreign Policy White Paper (Joint Submission and RACS Submission)

28 February 2017

Health among Australia's geographical neighbours should be regarded as a key component in Australia's foreign policy due to the burden of global disease and shifting disease patterns. By 2025, Asia will produce half of the world's economic output, and will increasingly demand high quality healthcare, education, and training services to ensure stability. Factors such as natural disasters, extreme weather events, infectious pandemics, escalating demographic changes, and population movements mean that strong health services are mandatory. Supporting strong health services, health education, and workforce development is a cost-effective approach to achieving security and prosperity in the region.


2017 Western Australian Election Position Statement

16 February 2017

Prior to all government elections in Australia and New Zealand, RACS provides an opportunity for political parties to outline their policy positions on key issues relevant to the delivery of surgical services. RACS then distributes these responses to its membership and the public. This document outlines areas of specific concern and relevance to our membership.


Inquiry Into Price regulation associated with the Prostheses List Framework

31 January 2017

The regulation of prostheses costs in Australia is complex and RACS welcomes the Community Affairs References Committee's inquiry into price regulation associated with the prostheses list framework. In making a submission to this inquiry, RACS considers the following principles as being central to improving existing processes and structures - patient safety and quality assurance; clinician driven reviews and; greater transparency and improved coordination.


Senate Red Tape Committee’s Inquiry into the effect of red tape on the sale, supply and taxation of alcohol

31 January 2017

RACS has strongly advocated for recognition of the harmful effects of alcohol abuse for many years, not only for the increased risk of complication that it poses to surgical patients, but also for the broader ramifications it has on the sustainability of our public health system and society as a whole. In the past year RACS has released an updated position paper on alcohol related harm and made multiple submissions to alcohol policy and regulatory reviews across Australia and New Zealand.


Patient Access to Medicinal Cannabis in South Australia

31 January 2017

While some scientific evidence exists to indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabis-derived products, there is also considerable evidence highlighting the dangers of frequent cannabis use. 


National Digital Health Strategy

30 January 2017

RACS is supportive of the Commonwealth's ongoing efforts to make improvement across the specturam of eHealth. RACS recognises that there are complex challenges in delivering effective eHealth policy and solutions in Australia and was pleased to provide input into the initial National Digital Health Strategy Consultation Draft in April 2016.


National Health and Medical Research Council - Effects of Alcohol

17 January 2017

The harmful use of alcohol is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease, and its misuse substantially contributes to social disruption, injury and death. While there is some evidence that small amounts of alcohol consumption may have health benefits, overwhelmingly the evidence points to the short and long-term health risks commensurate with increased consumption of alcohol.


South Australian Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Bill 2016

06 January 2017

RACS acknowledges the consultative approach taken by the South Australian Government throughout the development of this Bill. RACS has previously made submissions to the original Liquor Licensing discussion paper, and a supplementary submission that was co-authored by a number of like-minded organisations. We also met directly with the Independent Reviewer, Justice Tim Anderson QC, to discuss our submission in greater detail.


Review of the Victorian Liquor Reform Act 1998

03 January 2017

RACS has advocated against the harmful effects of alcohol for many years, not only for the increased risk of complication that it poses to surgical patients, but also for the broader ramifications it has on the sustainability of our public health system and society as a whole.

Surgeons are often confronted with the effects of alcohol misuse when treating patients with injuries resulting from road traffic trauma, interpersonal violence and personal accidents that are caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol misuse is also a significant contributor to the total burden of disease, including liver failure, GI bleeding, upper GI and oropharyngeal cancer and infections related to malnutrition.


Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia

23 December 2016

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) together with the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS) provided the following submission to the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport's Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia.


Medical Board of Australia Consultation on Revalidation

30 November 2016

RACS is broadly supportive of the direction being taken by the MBA and agrees that the focus of the proposed approach is both appropriate and relevant. It is about supporting those who practise well throughout their careers and identifying those medical practitioners whose practice has deficiencies. RACS affirms the importance and need for a system-wide approach to improving oversight and remediation of underperforming medical practitioners. RACS is willing to accept responsibility for our professional group and has established and robust systems in place. A revalidation model needs to address how stakeholders can work together to ensure that practitioners who need support, remediation or adjusted scope of practice can be identified reliably and consistently.


Building a statewide clinical service delivery structure

29 November 2016

In February 2015 the Tasmanian Regional Committee made a response to the Tasmanian Government's Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services Green Paper. We believe that several of the recommendations made in this submission are relevant to the current consultation paper, in particular those on Clinical Advisory Groups, state-wide waiting lists, role delineation and sustainability. The issues raised in this submission will be directly impacted by the final design of the clinical service delivery structure in Tasmania.


Tasmanian Public Health (Tobacco Seller's Licence) Regulations 2009

23 November 2016

Raising community awareness and minimising the harmful impacts of tobacco has been a key advocacy priority for RACS over many years. Tobacco use is known to cause certain cancers and increase the risk of other diseases and congenital abnormalities. Surgical outcomes are consistently poorer for smokers than non-smokers, with patients who smoke experiencing longer recovery times, increased risk of wound infection, and significantly increased risk for myocardial infarction and stroke. Smokers also have a higher post-surgery mortality rate than non-smokers.


Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee Inquiry into Medical Complaints

14 November 2016

Every individual has the right to a healthy workplace. Discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment (DBSH) demeans individuals and prevents them from reaching their true potential. Sadly, it is also the cause of a great loss of invaluable talent form the health sector. This insidious and unprofessional conduct cannot be tolerated. We welcome the opportunity to participate in this inquiry, to share our experiences, and to assist in any way we can.


Victorian ESIS Proposals for 1 July 2017

27 October 2016

Improved data collection is important to improving patient outcomes and better identification of health practitioners involved in a patient's treatment is a necessary step. In settings where a surgeon has low-volume appointments at multiple hospitals this is particularly important as hospital-level data may not appropriately capture information on such surgeons.


2016 ACT Election Position Statement

14 October 2016

Before all government elections in Australia and New Zealand, RACS provides an opportunity for political parties to outline their policy positions on key issues relevant to the delivery of surgical services. RACS then distributes these responses to its membership and the public.


Victorian Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Bill 2016

07 October 2016

RACS has always been strongly committed to improving standards and access to care and supports advance care planning in the surgical context. Patient autonomy, dignity, respect, non-maleficence and beneficence are principles central to the effective operation of modern healthcare. These principles are reflected in the RACS core values of service, integrity, respect, compassion and collaboration. As life sustaining treatments and palliative care advance, it is essential that these principles continue to inform the provision of health services to patients.


MBS Review - Response to Gastroenterology Clinical Committee Report

07 October 2016

RACS affirms the key goals of the MBS review to deliver better patient outcomes as a result of a thorough scientific and economic assessment of the MBS items and associated rules.


Independent Review of Chaperones to Protect Patients

03 October 2016

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) believes that the use of chaperones can form part of an effective strategy that protects patients. RACS supports the MBA's requirement that in cases where a chaperone is required for a practitioner, that the chaperone is visibly present during all aspects of medical care provided by the practitioner. RACS affirms that a practitioner should make known to the patient the presence of the chaperone. Where conditions are in place, the consultation should not occur if the patient does not agree to the presence of a chaperone.


South Australian Government’s Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2017-2021

30 September 2016

RACS welcomes the opportunity to respond to the South Australian Government's Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2017-2021(the Strategy). We also appreciated the invitation to attend a public forum on the Strategy earlier this year, where we were able to share our ideas in a constructive environment.  


Inquiry into how to improve health and safety outcomes for combat sports contestants in high risk professional and amateur contests in Queensland

29 September 2016

Emphasis should be made that repeated concussion in contact sport may be associated with ongoing cognitive deficit and post concessional symptoms and requires careful monitoring and removal from sport.

We look forward to effective strategies that work to improve health and safety outcomes for combat sports contestants in high risk professional and amateur contests in Queensland.


National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and the National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016

22 September 2016

RACS supports the Department of Health's continuing development of digital health solutions to improve patient safety across Australia.


National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and the National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016

22 September 2016

RACS supports the Department of Health's continuing development of digital health solutions to improve patient safety across Australia.


Policy Options for the Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes in New Zealand

12 September 2016

The heath of all New Zealanders is important to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. RACS is a strong supporter of the Government's vision for a Smokefree 2025 and is pleased to see that, although there is considerable work still to be done, progress is being made towards achieving this goal. 


Draft South Australian Railway Crossing Safety Strategy

09 September 2016

The draft strategy identifies more than 30 individual strategies spread across four broader strategy areas. Our submission is focussed on the four main strategy areas identified, rather than each individual strategy.


South Australian Domestic Violence Discussion Paper

02 September 2016

The Discussion Paper paves the way for the development of a comprehensive framework, which will hopefully address the root causes of domestic violence and minimise the devastating impact that it has on individuals, families and the community more broadly.


2016 Northern Territory Election Position Statement

15 August 2016

This document outlines areas of specific concern and relevance to our membership in the Northern Territory prior to the NT election on 27 August 2016.


Queensland Health Workforce Strategy

12 August 2016

RACS Queensland has been engaged in this process from the beginning and has had significant input and been represented at all workforce meetings. The College encourages a multidisciplinary approach to workforce issues that is evidence-based.

An important concern for RACS is the encouragement of surgeons into regional / rural areas and providing adequate remote surgical services, either by placement or appropriate transfers. Creation of specialist training posts and regional / rural Fellowships will assist however should be only one of many possible strategies.


Extension of the Specialist Training Program for 2017

05 August 2016

RACS has just this week announced the new appointments to our Surgical Education and Training (SET) program, following a competitive selection process. We have done so cognizant that funding for the existing 73 STP posts has not yet been secured beyond 2016.


Inquiry into the performance of the Queensland Health Ombudsman

04 August 2016

While we have distributed the survey to our members, there has been limited time for individual feedback, we have outlined key concerns conveyed to the QueenslandRegional Committee from some of our Fellows.


Response to Questions on Notice for NSW Review of the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Scheme

14 July 2016

This is the evidence given to the NSW Standing Committee on Law and Justice's review of the compulsory third party(CTP) insurance scheme on Friday 17 June 2016 by RACS.

Read the CTP reform position paper


DRAFT Allied Health Expanded Scope Strategy 2016- 2021: Optimising Scope of Practice

29 June 2016

In review of the draft strategy, the Committee is generally supportive of the expansion of the allied health scope.


Physicians Assistants in Queensland Consultation paper

21 June 2016

In review of the Consultation paper, the Committee is generally supportive of physician's assistant roles in Queensland.


2016 Australian Federal Election Position Statement

03 June 2016

Prior to all government elections in Australia and New Zealand, RACS provides an opportunity for political parties to outline their policy positions on key issues relevant to the delivery of surgical services. RACS then distributes these responses to its membership and the public. This document outlines areas of specific concern and relevance to our membership.


Funding options for the Australian Trauma Registry

27 May 2016

Road trauma costs Australian taxpayers around $27 billion a year, accounting for roughly 18 per cent of health expenditure and 1.8 per cent of GDP. The value of information and investigation of injury outcomes to improve the quality of trauma care cannot be overestimated. Understanding the cause, place and type of injury is essential to inform injury reduction strategies. Identifying improvements for trauma services saves lives, reduces waiting times and lowers costs through reduced length of stay in hospitals.


NSW Review of the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Scheme

20 May 2016

This supports the objectives outlined for the NSW review of the CTP insurance scheme.Our College is pleased that the NSW Government has sought input from stakeholders on this important issue, and we stand ready to provide further advice which may help resolve clinical issues associated with the scheme, in particular the assessment of injury and delivery of care to patients.


Review of the SA Liquor Licensing Act 1997: Supplementary submission

15 April 2016

This supplementary submission to the review of the South Australia (SA) Liquor Licensing Act 1997 ('the Review') provides illustrative models on a range of alcohol policy topics. Where models are not available for a policy topic, research evidence is provided to inform the Review's consideration of how government may respond to the policy topic in question. 


eHealth Working Group consultation draft: A National Digital Health Strategy for Australia

14 April 2016

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons supports the Department of Health's continuing development of digital health solutions to improve patient safety across Australia. 


Inquest into the death of 7 riders of quad bikes in Tasmania

07 April 2016

In this submission, RACS sets out the history of its involvement in the prevention and care of quad bike and other transport-related trauma, summarise key research addressing quad bike trauma, and outline the RACS position on quad bike trauma as informed by this history and research.


NSW inquiry to Independent review of the impact of liquor law reforms

02 April 2016

RACS recommends that the NSW Government retains all elements of the liquor law reforms and applies them across the state so that the same benefits will occur outside of the entertainment precincts.


Inquiry into aspects of road safety in Australia - response to Question on Notice

22 March 2016

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons was given a second opportunity to provide evidence as part of the Senate Inquiry into aspects of road safety in Australia on Thursday 25 February 2016.


Senate inquiry into alcohol-fuelled violence

20 March 2016

In June 2016 the Australian Department of Health is due to review the voluntary uptake of pregnancy health warnings on alcohol product labels. RACS encourages the Commonwealth Government to consider mandatory health warnings since voluntary uptake has been shown to be ineffective.


Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan

19 March 2016

RACS is pleased to see the Tasmanian Government address key issues of chronic disease with the development of this document. The College has already positions on alcohol-related harm, cessation of smoking and reducing the burden of obesity, which may help inform the Healthy Tasmania Strategic Plan.


NSW Government measures to reduce alcohol-related harm

12 February 2016

Following the NSW Government introducing broad-ranging measure to address alcohol-related harm in the Sydney CBD, and and a state-wide restriction on take-away alcohol after 10 pm,  there have been marked positive results.


NSW Cosmetic Surgery Consultation

26 January 2016

The RACS position is that all facilities providing surgical services require oversight to maintain a minimum level of safe practice, and that regulation should be based on the credentials of the practitioner and the level of sedation, rather than the procedure that is undertaken.


South Australian Government's Liquor Licensing Discussion Paper

25 January 2016

The RACS response to the liquor licensing discussion paper reflects many of the themes outlined in previous submissions, and further explores the three key themes identified in the paper; reducing red tape, creating a safer drinking culture, and vibrancy.


Inquiry into aspects of road safety in Australia

08 January 2016

RACS, with the support of the Australian Automobile Association, recommends that the Commonwealth support the Registry by providing $450,000 for a three-year period to allow the establishment of private and public partnership.


Queensland Inquiry into a suitable model for the implementation of the National Injury Insurance Scheme

08 January 2016

The College's main concern is the implementation of the scheme and we look forward to the Government actively involving RACS Fellows in that process. Ongoing involvement in the Scheme's implementation will ensure coverage issues not initially considered.


Tobacco Plain Packaging (NZ)

22 December 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons strongly supports the development and implementation of tobacco plain packaging legislation in New Zealand.


Wellington City Council Local Alcohol Policy

21 December 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons strongly urges the Wellington City Council to re-visit its Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) and take a stronger stance against alcohol-related harm in Wellington.


Private Health Insurance Stakeholder Consultation

16 December 2015

RACS supports the principle of universal and sustainable healthcare provision across all communities in Australia, appreciating the important contribution of the private sector in the financing and delivery of health services under the Medicare framework. RACS affirms the rights and necessity for patients to be actively engaged in their own healthcare and to be provided with all relevant information regarding their private healthcare cover in a manner that they can readily understand.

See the Private Health Consultations


New Zealand Health Strategy Consultation on the Updated New Zealand Health Strategy

11 December 2015

RACS commends the Ministry of Health for its work so far in updating the New Zealand Health Strategy and broadly supports the direction that the Strategy is taking. 


Letter to NSW Premier on implementation of point-to-point speed enforcement

09 December 2015

The National Trauma Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is keen to encourage the prompt implementation of point-to-point speed enforcement for all vehicle users in New South Wales.


ACRS/AIPN/RACS Joint Submission to the Senate Economics References Commitee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community

08 December 2015

The 2015 ACRS/AIPN/RACS Submission to The Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts informs Australia's leading policymakers of our support for evidence-based road trauma reduction policies, with a focus on bicycle helmet regulation.


Queensland Consultation on tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill

07 December 2015

RACS recommends  the Government introduces a moratorium on late night trading to limit the risk of harm while it develops a framework to manage assessment of applications for new liquor licenses or to extend trading hours.


Queensland Tobacco and other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Bill 2015

07 December 2015

RACS believes a combination of measures such as consistent legislation restricting smoking and cessation advice for those who smoke is the most effective way to address smoking rates. Evidence suggests that limitations on the sale and supply of tobacco as well as exposure have all been shown to be effective methods of reducing tobacco's harm to society


Queensland Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

07 December 2015

The College's view is expressed in our position paper Reducing the burden of Obesity Position Paper


Health Outcomes International - National Alcohol Strategy

29 November 2015

RACS has developed its recommendations on reducing alcohol-related harm drawing on scientific evidence and the expertise of our Fellows in Australia and New Zealand, and other members of the medical profession.


MBS Review Taskforce Consultation

16 November 2015

RACS affirms the key goals of the MBS review to deliver better patient outcomes as a result of a thorough scientific and economic assessment of the MBS items and associated rules.

See the MBS Review


Wendco (NZ) Limited On-Licence application

05 November 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons wishes to oppose the application made by Wendco (NZ) Limited (Wendco), Danny Lendich, Director, 288 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu South, Auckland, Private Company to the District Licensing Committee in Christchurch for the issue of an On-Licence in respect of the premises situated at 1 Chappie Place, Hornby, Christchurch, known as Wendy's Hamburgers.


The Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs - National Drug Strategy

28 October 2015

RACS supports the harm minimisation approach that the Government has adopted in this strategy, because it acknowledges that while there may be economic implications for industry, there are also social and economic costs to the taxpayer when alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use is not adequately regulated or addressed. 


New Zealand Health Select Committee on Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill 2015

07 October 2015

RACS recommends that any amendment to the Act to change from "medical practitioner" should be undertaken with caution; and the issuing of these certificates should only be devolved to carefully selected regulated professions with the appropriate training and experience, and restricted to conditions within their scope of practice.


The New Zealand Health Select Committee on Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill

30 September 2015

RACS wishes to indicate its firm support for the measures proposed in the Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill.


The New Zealand Ministry of Justice consultation on better family violence laws

21 September 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is a strong supporter of initiatives that seek to reduce family violence. 


ACT Issues Paper - Addressing alcohol-related harm

14 September 2015

RACS supports the Government's efforts to review the Liquor Act 2010. 


Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate

11 September 2015

RACS welcomes the current review of Australia's taxation system, and believes there is substantial scope to improve tax arrangements to better reflect and minimise the burden of illness, injury and social and economic harms caused by alcohol.


Victorian Health Citizen's Jury on Obesity

24 August 2015

RACS believes a combination of preventative measures and an increase in the availability of treatment options for those who are already obese is the most effective way to address obesity.


NSW Review of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

07 August 2015

The RACS NSW Regional Committee believes that the objectives of the National Law are appropriate; however it is timely to review how this law is applied in NSW.

Read the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) Discussion Paper.


Victorian Inquiry into End of Life Choices

29 July 2015

It is important that patients are provided with the means to make informed choices regarding their treatment, and where appropriate, plan for the end of their life. 


NT Review of Family violence Act

13 July 2015

 RACS supports efforts to develop data-collection systems to better understand how domestic or family violence contributes to hospital presentations and the requirement for surgical care. 


Release of Performance Data in New Zealand

30 June 2015

The New Zealand National Board of RACS supports the public release of outcomes based data on surgical performance at a team, institutional or national level with a number of caveats.


Victorian Road Safety Strategy

22 June 2015

The Victorian Government and its agencies are to be congratulated on the Towards Zero initiative - envisaging a future where nobody dies on the road and reducing as far as practically possible, the number of serious injuries. 

 


Response from the Australian Greens

15 June 2015

This is a response from the Australian Greens to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Federal Election Position Statement.


Department of Health Review of the Specialist Training Program

09 June 2015

The College confirms that the overall aims and objectives of the Specialist Training Program are being met. Since 2011, STP has provided 73 new training posts across the surgical specialties, of which 31 are in rural settings. 


Senate Inquiry into Health Policy, Administration & Expenditure - Commonwealth Government

01 June 2015

Within the inquiry's terms of reference are highlighted some key areas of concern, which we believe have the potential to impact on the sustainability of Australia's healthcare system, and the provision of surgical services in particular. 


Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council, Review of Medical Intern Training

31 May 2015

 Whilst supplementary training can be provided in the internship year through local hospital initiatives and including simulation approaches, most of the training component of internship is based directly around clinical work.


Royal Commission into Family Violence

29 May 2015

Without more detailed data on surgical workload resulting from family violence, it is difficult for RACS to comment on the surgical aspects of family violence or related trauma.


New Zealand Governance of Endoscopy Quality and Related Initiatives Report for Stakeholder Feedback

25 May 2015

The NZ Ministry of Health commissioned Sapere Research Group to provide independent advice on an appropriate national governance structure for endoscopy quality improvement and related initiatives. T


Medical Council of New Zealand Consultation Paper Review of Fees

25 May 2015

In 2014 the Medical Council of New Zealand indicated it was examining its fee structures. That work has now been completed and Council is proposing a re-costing of the fees.


NSW Quad Bike Inquest

15 May 2015

The results from the TARS (UNSW Transport and Road Safety) research indicate that while current prevention strategies focus on lower order risk controls such as rider training and administrative controls, developing a system similar to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) that tests and rates quad bikes would lead to significant improvements in safety through safer vehicle choice, safer vehicles being developed and marketed, and increased safety awareness among users.


New Zealand Submission to Health Select Committee Surgical Mesh

05 May 2015

There is little evidence to suggest that substituting synthetic non-absorbable surgical mesh with biologic materials offers any advantage in these circumstances. 


Submission the the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education:

21 April 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is a strong advocate for evidence-based measures that will reduce alcohol-fuelled violence and related harms.


Free TV Code of Practice Review - Alcohol Advertising

02 April 2015

The College urges Free TV Australia to use this review to support action that will reduce young people's exposure to alcohol advertising on commercial television.


PHARMAC re. Dextrose/Saline (NZ)

01 April 2015

The New Zealand National Board (NZNB) of RACS has discussed PHARMAC's decision to remove Dextrose/Saline (0.18% Sodium Chloride and 4% FDextrose solution) from the Pharmaceutical's Schedule. We would like PHARMAC to review this decision.


South Australia Code of Practice Review

09 March 2015

While the College supports any measures that will reduce alcohol-related harm, such as those introduced as part of the Late Night Trading Code in 2013, we would like to see the SA Government doing more to implement evidence-based policies


New Zealand Ministry of Health Draft Prostate Cancer Guidance

06 March 2015

The College wishes to record its strong support for the principle of guidance to general practitioners on prostate cancer management and active surveillance.


New Zealand Scope of Practice and Qualifications - Nurse Practitioner

26 February 2015

The College supports the training, experience, maintenance of professional standards and quality assurance for Nurse Practitioners so that all College Fellows, surgical trainees and other health practitioners know what to expect and can collaborate with Nurse Practitioners with confidence.


South Australia Delivering Transforming Health Response

26 February 2015

The Delivering Transforming Health paper which seeks to describe the future of health services in South Australia, is remarkably short on detail concerning implementation, time frames for change and how resource reallocation will occur.


NSW State Election Position Statement

18 February 2015

This document outlines areas of specific concern to Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates who contribute to the provision of high quality surgical services in NSW, and who interact with and advocate for the communities in which they live.


New Zealand Health (Protection) Bill 2014, Part 2: Artificial UV tanning services

11 February 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons wishes to indicate its firm support for the measures proposed in Part 2 of the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill 2014.


Senate Inquiry into Road Safety

10 February 2015

The Strategy is an excellent document which analyses road safety risks in terms of the elements of the Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety and makes good recommendations as to how individual components of these major elements can contribute to reductions in fatalities and serious injuries. 


Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services Green Paper: Delivery Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services

03 February 2015

RACS has carefully reviewed the Green Paper, Role Delineation Framework and supporting documents.


Queensland State Election Position Statement

21 January 2015

This document outlines the areas of specific concern and relevance to the Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates of Queensland in the lead-up to the forthcoming State election. 


Proposed Local Alcohol Policy for the Waikato District

21 November 2014

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons wishes to indicate firm support for the measures proposed in the Waikato District Council's Local Alcohol Policy. 


Use of surgical mesh and mesh-like products (NZ)

17 November 2014

 While the use of any artificial implant is associated with a slightly greater risk of infection, the overall benefits arising through the use of mesh in these clinical situations have been confirmed through its extensive use over many years.


Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professions

06 October 2014

RACS has carefully assessed the consultation paper distributed for this review and believes it to be inadequate from a number of viewpoints.


Auckland City Council_Draft Alcohol Policy

26 September 2014

Our College is a strong advocate for proven evidence-based measures that will lead to the reduction in alcohol fuelled violence and related harms at no cost to the Auckland public.


Victorian State Election 2014 Position and Responses of Political Parties

08 September 2014

The Victorian region of the College has developed this document outlining the areas of specific concern to the College in the lead-up to the forthcoming Victorian election. 


Inquiry into measures to reduce alcohol and drug related violence

31 July 2014

Our College is a strong advocate for proven evidence-based measures that will lead to the reduction in alcohol fuelled violence and related harms at no cost to the NSW public.


CARC on Out-of-pocket expenses in Australian healthcare

29 July 2014

The funding of health care is increasingly complex and due to increasing costs, the inclusion of 'price-signals' to influence demand will progressively occur. 


HealthDirect regarding classification of cosmetic surgeons and proceduralists

04 July 2014

There should be a clear direction that 'cosmetic surgeon' is not a formal accredited specialty within medicine but cosmetic surgeryis usually performed by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons who are fully trained within an accredited program to perform this type of work.


PHARMAC's proposed approach to managing hospital medical devices

20 June 2014

The College has sought to answer the questions posed by PHARMAC, although the generality in parts of this document has meant that it is difficult to provide helpful, overall comment.


Draft NSW Rural Health Plan

12 June 2014

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) maintains an ongoing keen interest in rural health, evidenced by the support provided via the RACS Rural Health Committee and other associated groups.


Telehealth Services in Queensland

05 May 2014

This submission references work being undertaken by two College Fellows that highlights the opportunities that this medium presents in addressing medical care in rural and remote communities and also how its application has the potential to improve services and at the same time reduce overall costs to the health service.


South Australian State Election 2014 Positions And Responses Of Political Parties Manifesto

19 February 2014

The South Australian region of the College has developed this document which outlines the areas of specific concern to the College in the lead-up to the forthcoming South Australian election. 


QLD Proposed Cancer Services Statewide Health Service Strategy

06 December 2013

The College response relates specifically to the role of surgery in the planning and implementation of the broad policies outlined relating to Cancer management in Queensland.


Labor response to College 2013 Federal Election Manifesto for Government and Opposition

05 September 2013

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government looks forwards to continuing to work with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to ensure we continue to have a world class health system and workforce into the future to benefit all Australians.


Coalition response to College 2013 Federal Election Manifesto for Government and Opposition

04 September 2013

A robust public hospital system that provides universal care for all Australian, irrespective of means or status, will remain the central pillar of our health system under a Coalition government.


Paper addressing issues for the 2013 Federal Election for Governent and Opposition

12 August 2013

The issues addressed here by no means constitute an exhaustive list, but are those the College believes will, if appropriately addressed, deliver the best outcomes for patients through improved surgical practice.


Submission Response to the Treasury Discussion Paper: Reform to Deductions for Education Expenses

10 July 2013

The College is gravely concerned that the measure announced as part of the 2013 Federal Budget, which will cap annual tax deductions for self-education expenses at $2,000, will act as a disincentive to CPD, MOPS and training activities, thereby undermining the quality of surgical care delivered in this country and posing a threat to patient safety.


Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Cross-Board Consultation on Common Guidelines

13 June 2013

The College endorses the guidelines and notes that the advertising guidelines in its own Code of Conduct are aligned closely with them. Fellows of the College are required to adhere to the provisions of both documents.


Victorian Parliament Road Safety Committee's Inquiry into Serious Injury

22 April 2013

Surgeons involved in the management of trauma have long held the view that while road safety efforts have understandably been directed at reducing fatalities, this might have been at the expense of preventing serious injuries.


Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade's Inquiry into Australia's Relationship with Timor Leste

29 March 2013

The College remains committed to working with the Timorese MoH and other partners to help them achieve a sustainable, high functioning health system that meets the needs of the Timorese population.


Medical Board of Australia Doctors' Health Programs

05 March 2012

The College recognises the need for a body which can help health impaired doctors and thereby protect the public.


Independant Pricing Authority

21 February 2012

The College believes it is imperative that the development and introduction of Activity Based Funding (ABF) does not result in an enormously complicated mechanism which gives rise to discrepancies and inequalities in funding, thereby exacerbating the very problem it was intended to resolve.


Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency General Registration on Completion of Training

22 December 2011

The College has no objections to the consultation paper and its proposals, but makes observations with a view to clarifying and enhancing one proposal in particular.


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency definition of Practice

02 December 2011

The College believes the definition of practice must be considered in the context of an ageing health workforce and the unprecedented number of medical school graduates who will soon be seeking specialist training.


The Department Of Health And Ageing Public Consultation on Plain Packaging Of Tobacco Products

03 June 2011

The College is on the record as supporting the plain packaging of all tobacco products sold in Australia and has also called for a review of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act to take place every three years.


Health Workforce Australia (HWA) on National Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategic Framework for Action

27 May 2011

The College has opted not to employ the template provided by HWA for the purpose of this submission. This is because many of the questions in the template do not address issues raised in HWA's Background Paper and the accompanying National Consultation document and are not pertinent to the key issues of health workforce reform. Other questions contain inherent assumptions which the College does not accept.

 


Council of Australian Government's Expert Panel on a four hour national access target in emergency departments

24 May 2011

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons believes that the precipitate implementation of such a four hour rule, particularly without a corresponding commitment to associated services, runs the risk of putting promptness of care before quality of care.


Council of Australian Government's Expert Panel on the case for the separation of elective and emergency surgery

01 May 2011

With increasing demand for elective surgery, the need for a new model of surgical care in our hospitals has become a pressing issue.


National Health and Medical Research Council on the development of advanced health research centres in Australia

21 March 2011

While the College supports in principle the development of Advanced Health Research Centres, concern has been expressed that the selection of such centres might be biased towards entities already receiving higher levels of NHMRC funding.


Department of Health and Ageing Lead Clinicians Groups

09 February 2011

The College has long advocated a more prominent and effective role for clinicians in the decision making processes of hospitals, health boards and health departments.


House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing's Inquiry into Registration Processes and Support for Overseas-Trained Doctors

04 February 2011

The College does not support any change to registration standards that may create a two-tiered system in which IMGs are not required to meet the same standards as those required of an Australian trained surgeon.


Submission to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)

19 August 2010

The College notes that medical practitioners with specialist registration can choose not to retain their fellowship of the relevant specialist medical college and remain on the specialist register.


Submission to the Inter-Jurisdictional Cosmetic Surgery Working Group

03 August 2010

The Royal Australasian College if Surgeons has been raising concerns about the burgeoning cosmetic and beautician industry for many years. 


Submission to the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council re recognition of podiatric surgery as a specialty

20 May 2010

The College opposes the submission by the Podiatry Board of Australia for specialist recognition of "Surgical Podiatrists" on the grounds of inadequate standards of education, which is counter to another stated Object of Law: that health practitioners be suitably qualified and competent.


Submission to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)

08 April 2010

Whilst the College fully supports requirements to maintain standards and protect the patient, there is concern that health professionals may not seek early attention for themselves if they believe their livelihood will be placed at risk by the rigid implementation of reporting and disciplinary requirements.


Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding Public and Private Hospital Systems

31 July 2009

The College strongly believes that any discussion of performance should include analysis of the quality of outcomes. 


Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs' Inquiry into the Private Health Insurance (National Joint Replacement Register Levy) Bill

05 June 2009

College Fellows practising within the Orthopaedic specialty consider the National Joint Replacement Registry to be a valuable medical resource, collecting and making available data on joint replacement operations across Australia. 


Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs' Inquiry into National Registration and Accreditation for Doctors and Other Health Workers

05 June 2009

College Fellows practising within the Orthopaedic specialty consider the National Joint Replacement Registry to be a valuable medical resource, collecting and making available data on joint replacement operations across Australia. 


Submission to the Australian Medical Council regarding an application to have cosmetic medical practice recognised as a medical specialty

01 June 2009

RACS does not support recognition of cosmetic medical practice as a new medical specialty.


Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs' Inquiry into Compliance Audits on Medicare Benefits

24 April 2009

The College recognises the value of compliance audits, providing such audits are conducted fairly, and their results are assessed by an independent and objective peer group rather than a government instrumentality concerned primarily with cost cutting.


National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Interim Report

31 March 2009

Given the breadth of the Commission's terms of reference, the College is in agreement with the key themes and has addressed many of these in earlier submissions.


Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Inquiry into Gene Patents

19 March 2009

The College is strongly of the view that Australia's patent laws should be revised to ensure families have guaranteed access to gene testing in public hospitals.


Preventative Health Taskforce

12 January 2009

The National Preventative Health Taskforce is to be congratulated on preparing the comprehensive discussion paper that has been broadly circulated.


NHHRC Additional submission

14 July 2008

Significant financial, infrastructural and cultural support from health authorities is required to train and maintain the surgical workforce of the future.


National Health and Hospital's Reform Commission

11 June 2008

Our submission highlights the importance of a single funder model of healthcare to improve responsibility and accountability. 


Victorian Quality Council - Safety and quality improvement framework

01 January 2006

A safety and quality improvement framework for Victorian health services is an initiative of the Victorian Quality Council (VQC).


CanMEDS 2000 Project

01 January 2006

Skills for the new millennium delineates a competency framework that will assist future specialists in responding to innumerable challenges as health-care providers - challenges that will require them to function in a health-care system in a constant state of flux and facing increasing fiscal constraints - while providing the best specialty care.


Standard for Credentialling and Defining the Scope of Clinical Practice

01 January 2006

While there has been a long tradition of health care organisations undertaking processes of credentialling and defining the scope of clinical practice of medical practitioners, the application of these processes has varied considerably. 


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