LATEST NEWS

10th April 2020 UPDATE:

ASADA PRESENTATION TO DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL AND CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCE OFFICER, QLD HEALTH ON 2/4/20

On 2ndApril, Dr Geoff Hawson (ASADA President), Dr Kimberley Bondeson (ASADA Secretary), Dr Darryl Gregor (Gold Coast ASADA Rep) and ASADA media adviser, Mr Graham Staerk, made a presentation via Zoom to Qld Health executives outlining ASADA’s plan to assist the government by contacting possible doctor volunteers through a number of organisations (ASADA, ADF, LMAs, AADA, AMAQ). Based on feedback from ASADA members, a list of potential areas of assistance was provided.

At the meeting, ASADA proposed that
legislation (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland), 1 March 2020 Section 273) be modified and reinstated as Limited Registration - Public Interest – Senior Active Doctor:

  • Referral, order, prescribe, teaching, and practice within the doctor’s scope of practice and emergency-related training.
  • 10 hours with emphasis on skills, education, and emergency-related practice.
  • This category is to be ongoing (as in the past) to enable Senior Active Doctors who are transitioning to retirement to remain registered in order to keep them in the health system and available to practice during emergencies and to assist with areas of ongoing community need (e.g; vaccination, chronic disease monitoring).
  • Remuneration allowed depending on requirements of practice.
  • Insurance, medical indemnity at a lower rate with government indemnity for government-directed practice.

ASADA is waiting to hear back from the Qld government on progress on these issues and will keep members updated.

 


9th April 2020 UPDATE:

AHPRA PANDEMIC SUB-REGISTER

1. AHPRA PANDEMIC SUB-REGISTER

  • As of 6th April, AHPRA has taken the step of automatically placing all health practitioners who retired in the last 3 years on a pandemic response sub-register for up to 12 months. https://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/COVID-19/Pandemic-response-sub-register.aspx
  • The sub-register operates on an opt-out basis. As of 8th April, 3,498 medical practitioners are on the sub-register. It is assumed a number will opt out.
  • AHPRA indicates:
    Practitioners who choose to stay on the pandemic sub-register and go back to work, must comply with their profession’s Code of conduct, professional indemnity insurance requirements and work within the scope of their practice. After 12 months, they will be removed from the sub-register. If they would like to continue practising after that time, they will need to apply for registration through the standard process.
    UPDATE on INSURANCE : 3 Indemnity insurers are offering free indemnification to their previous members – Avant, MIPS, and MDA-National.
  • ASADA commends senior active and retired doctors who assist with the pandemic but advocates that they refrain from frontline practice that places them at risk.

2. NO INFORMATION ON HOW DOCTORS ON THE SUB-REGISTER MIGHT BE EMPLOYED

  • There have been no statements from state or federal governments on how doctors might be employed.Presumably, this will be through advertised positions.
  • ASADA has explored options such as contact tracing and telehealth within Queensland. There appears to be no mechanisms in place to allow remote tracing (from doctor’s home). Call centres may not be the most appropriate contexts for senior doctors who are social distancing and isolating from large groups/venues.

3. LIMITATIONS IN AHPRA’s APPROACH

  • THREE-YEAR LIMIT is preventing many doctors with vast experience and expertise, who retired outside this time frame, from volunteering.
  • AHPRA’s approach is a SHORT-TERM SOLUTION and fails to address how best to use our pool of experienced senior doctors for current and future community needs.

4. LOSS OF 500,000 YEARS OF MEDICAL EXPERIENCE

  • Each year in Australia, approximately 1,850 doctors leave the workforce. For the six-year period from 2013 to 2018, 11,136 doctors retired from the profession. This represents a loss of over 500,000 years of medical experience.  (Health Workforce Data)
  • Most doctors give up their registration because they are unable to meet AHPRA’s full registration requirements of recency and CPD.

5. PERMANENT ONGOING SOLUTION

An ongoing registration category (Senior Active Doctor category) to enable both retired and retiring doctors to remain in the system so that they can assist in times of health emergencies and in areas of community need. Not just a short term callup.

 


 

 12th March 2020: MEDIA RELEASE

 Retired and senior active Queensland doctors answer Government’s call to action

 Up to 500 retired and senior active Queensland doctors are ready to fill the breach whilst their colleagues tackle the likely (COVID-19) pandemic.

 Responding to Government’s call to arms on Saturday for doctors to come out of retirement to assist in confronting the crisis, the Australian Senior Active Doctors Association Queensland Branch (ASADA QLD) has taken responsibility for the appeal to the profession.

 ASADA’s President is Associate Professor, Dr Geoffrey Hawson MBBS FRACP FAChPM. Professor Hawson is also the Retired Doctor Craft group representative on the Australian Medical Association’s Queensland Council - a unique position in the nation.

 Professor Hawson and his ASADA colleagues have initially consulted with 

AMAQ Leadership and members, The Redcliffe and District Local Medical Association (RDMA), Gold Coast Members and other Queensland Local Medical Association members.

 Further statewide consultations will occur this week.

 Professor Hawson said today that there were currently two groups of doctors who could contribute their services.

 “The first consists of currently retired doctors who could volunteer their services in a call up of doctors once the State Government puts in place mechanisms for them to practice.

 “The second group consists of senior active doctors who are currently registered but are transitioning towards retirement. Many, many of these would like to continue to contribute to the healthcare of Queenslanders. 

 “The government could provide for a step down or occasional practice registration category to keep these doctors in the system and available to practice in the community as needed. 

 “In the past, such a category has existed and could be easily reinstated.

 “Successive Queensland State Governments are also to be congratulated for keeping enabling legislation on the books, which simply requires modification.

 “ASADA strongly believes that senior active doctors are an underutilised asset in advancing the health of Queenslanders and all Australians and welcomes discussions with the Health Minister Steven Miles around how these doctors could contribute their vast experience and expertise if they wish to volunteer.

 “We are seeking a meeting with the Minister to outline our detailed plan,” he said.

ASADA senior member and President of the Redcliffe and District Local Medical Association (RDMA) Dr Kimberley Bonderson agrees that “members of RDMA support the introduction of registration categories enabling retired and senior active doctors to assist the Qld Government in the current health crisis.

 ASADA Gold Coast representative, Dr Darryl Gregor said that he was positive that many colleagues in the City would seek to assist during the crisis and beyond.

 “I’ve always held the view that retired doctors are an incredible resource for governments dealing with flood, drought and regional shortage crises,” he said.

 Doctors interested in supporting or participating in ASADA’s campaign are asked to contact the organisation at asada_secretary@outlook.com

 For further information:

 Associate Professor Dr Geoffrey Hawson

Graham Staerk on 0423 027 973