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RACS guidelines on COVID-19 safe practice
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has produced various guidelines on COVID-19 safe practice.
RACS developed these evidence-based reports to ensure surgeons and other health practitioners have the most up to date information to inform best practice safe surgery during the pandemic.
The guidelines have been produced to aid surgeons make the correct clinical judgement and decision making in healthcare delivery. They also equip practitioners with trusted information to inform engagement with patients.
We encourage our Fellows, Trainees and Specialist International Medical Graduates to use these guidelines and also follow the direction of their respective chief medical officer, health jurisdiction and relevant specialty society sources.
In this time of widespread distribution of information, sometimes coming from what seems like authoritative sources, RACS recommends that before acting on such reports, people should check information with their family doctor or surgeon and follow the official advice from their local Chief Health Officer.
Download our rapid review reports and guidelines.
- Delaying surgery for patients recovering from COVID-19 -A rapid review commissioned by RACS (PDF 631.07KB)
- Guidelines on the Preoperative Diagnostic Workup for COVID-19 -A rapid review commissioned by RACS (PDF 936.77KB)
- RACS guidelines for safe surgery: open versus laparoscopic (PDF 724.89KB)
- Surgery triage: responding to the COVID-19 pandemic - A rapid review commissioned by RACS (PDF 692.41KB)
- Guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment -A rapid review commissioned by RACS (PDF 1.18MB)
- Position Statement: Guidance for Endoscopy Training in New Zealand and Australia in the peri-COVID-19 era (PDF 185.6KB)
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page to see a list of further resources and downloads.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
We understand that while COVID-19 will impact each surgeon differently, the restriction on participation and access to continuing professional development (CPD) events will affect everyone.
After careful consideration, the Executive of the Professional Development and Standards Board determined that the CPD year will remain at 1 January to 31 December 2020. Activities should be entered into CPD Online by no later than 28 February 2021.
RACS Fellows and surgeons participating in the CPD program have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to participation and compliance - we will not be undertaking verification of CPD activities for 2020.
In recognition of the impact the 2020 year has had on so many of us, the following adjustments to CPD requirements have been made:
- Up to 10 points can be claimed for COVID activities in Category 2: Clinical Governance. This will meet the full requirement for this category in 2020.
- An additional 10 points can be claimed for General Activities in Category 3: Maintenance of Knowledge and Skills. This increases the annual threshold to 30 points and recognises the significant reading and research activities many surgeons have undertaken this year.
- To assist in meeting the Category 4: Reflective Practice requirement, an online activity is under development and will be available to all CPD participants in early November
The revised RACS CPD Framework is scheduled for launch in July 2021 and we look forward to communicating further changes to you throughout the year.
Where can I get help?
The CPD team are available Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm (AEST) and can be contacted at +61 3 9249 1282 or email@example.com
Elective surgery recommendations from specialty societies
RACS consulted with its specialty societies who committed to providing Fellows with guidelines on elective surgery. Recommendations received from specialty societies are listed below.
Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons
Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery
Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons
Australian & New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society
ANZGOSA and ANZMOSS Guidelines for Triaging Upper GI and Bariatric Surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF 294.25KB) (27 April)
Australian Hand Surgery Society
Australian Orthopaedic Association
The AOA has published the following position statements and advice:
- The Australian Knee Society
- The Australian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
- The Spine Society of Australia (with category definitions)
- The Australian Orthopaedic Trauma Society
These are in addition to the position statements issued by:
Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Guidance for ENT surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic (20 March 2020)
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Neurosurgical Society of Australasia
New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons
New Zealand Society of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
New Zealand Orthopaedic Association
Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand