08 November 2018
Our health system is interconnected in such a way that
clinicians and patients regularly work or seek treatment across
multiple hospital sites and health networks. When EPAS was first
introduced in to South Australian hospitals it was hoped that it
would provide an integrated and consistent electronic health
records system, which would result in safer, more efficient, and
effective patient care. Despite the well-documented failures of the
software, the principles of greater integration and consistency
should remain a continuing priority.
11 October 2018
Medical surgical assistants are greatly valued by our surgeons
who utilises their skills and experience, especially in rural and
remote areas. The Medical Surgical Assistants Society of Australia
(MSASA) has made a compelling argument to RACS. They have argued
against the bundling of patient rebates for surgical assistants and
have research to show that "the overwhelming majority of MSA
accounts are either no gap (93%) or 'no and known gap' (99.69%)…
from private billing agency accounts of 450,000 services provided
under group T9 by several thousand assisting doctors over the last
The following Four Principles being examined by the MBS Review
are as follows;
1. Informed financial consent on the part of the patient is a
fundamental principle underpinning the provision of MBS
2. The cost to patients of a particular surgical service
subsidised through the MBS should not vary significantly when
services are provided under similar circumstances.
3. The primary surgeon should have control over the patient's
out-of-pocket costs for the primary and assistant (if any) surgical
4. When using a designated assistant for a procedure, the
primary surgeon should take responsibility for the remuneration of
20 September 2018
Prior to all government elections in Australia and New Zealand,
RACS outlines areas of specific concern and relevance to the
delivery of surgical services. We then provide an opportunity for
political parties to outline their policy positions on these key
issues relevant to the delivery of surgical services, and
distribute these responses to our membership and the public.
11 September 2018
At present the multi-day surgical case
load at Flinders Medical Centre tends to be dominated by more
complex cases, such as cancer surgery. Conversely, Noarlunga
Hospital only has the capacity to perform same day surgical
procedures. As a consequence it can be difficult to facilitate
multi-day surgical procedures of intermediate complexity at SALHN.
RACS recommends that the Repat prioritises these types of surgical
procedures, as part of a co-ordinated effort to reduce elective
surgery waiting times across the network.
In addition, there are also long wait
times in the south for patients that require colonoscopy procedures
following a positive stool test. Demand for these services is
expected to increase as the National Bowel Cancer Screening
Programme is rolled out further, and therefore it essential that
the adequate resources are dedicated to ensuring that SALHN has the
capacity to meet these demand pressures. Consideration should be
given as to what broader strategies can be implemented to deal with
this issue across the network, including what role the Repat can
play in this regard.
11 September 2018
RACS has previously highlighted issues
with 'hidden waiting lists' in outpatient appointment times.
Although we have heard anecdotal reports from our membership,
without regularly published data it has been difficult to identify
the extent of the problem. We are therefore supportive of the
principles of greater transparency in this area.
31 August 2018
Since EPAS' inception, RACS has
continually sought feedback from our membership about their
experience in using the system. Our submission outlines the key
points that have been raised with us, followed by a series of
03 July 2018
The Australian Senate passed
unprecedented gun laws in June 1996 just twelve days after Martin
Bryant used semi-automatic rifles to slaughter 35 people at Port
Arthur. The National Firearms Agreement banning rapid-fire long
guns was introduced to reduce the availability of fire-arms and
prevent mass shootings. This has proved to be one of Australia's
most successful public health measures. The proposed changes by the
Tasmanian government to water down the gun control laws contravene
the spirit of the National Firearms agreement and legislation which
is there to limit access to dangerous weapons in the
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.
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.
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:
- Engage multiple government portfolios to become involved in the
prevention of road trauma.
- Improve the quality of road trauma data by establishing agreed
definitions, methodologies, and measurement tools.
- 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.
- Advocate for legislation for enhanced safety features for all
new vehicles (cars and heavy vehicles)
- Activate point to point cameras for all road users.
- Safer behaviour for all road-users.
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
- 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
- Collaboration is essential to continual development of safe
05 April 2018
RACS recently considered the legalisation of medicinal cannabis
in response to legislation proposed in South Australia in early
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
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.
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.
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
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.
23 February 2018
- 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
- Further investigation is needed into the reasons why cost per
weighted separation in the ACT is second highest in the
- RACS supports the Government's focus on preventative health
measures and efforts to reduce unnecessary presentations to
16 February 2018
RACS has identified six key focus areas relevant to the 2018
- Teaching, Training and Research
- Elective Surgery Waiting Lists
- Clinical Engagement and a Culture of Respect
- Tasmanian Audit of Surgical Mortality
- Alcohol Related Harm
09 January 2018
RACS has identified five key focus areas relevant to the 2018-19
- Maintaining high quality and timely access to healthcare
- Recognition of the burden of trauma on the healthcare
- National leadership to reduce alcohol-related harm
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
- Surgical training and academic pathways