RACS Advocacy


Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.

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Loosening of gun control laws in Tasmania

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 community.


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

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