Dear College Colleague,
As you might be aware, due to Covid-19 crisis the RANZCP election for Elected Directors of the College Board voting period has been extended to finish 5pm AEST on Monday 4 May. Please mark this date on your dairies, as it is critical that you vote in this year’s election.
At the coming election I am standing for election because the College Board of Directors needs an independent voice to represent the interests and welfare of the College membership. I am experienced board member and have a comprehensive policy platform that addresses the most pressing issues for the College. Now is the time to bring new ideas to tackle the challenges that are unfolding.
During the Covid-19 crisis I have strongly advocated (with others) for psychiatrists to be able either bulk-bill or private bill the new Covid MBS telehealth items. This lobbying has born fruit – the government on Friday 17 April announced changes to allow billing flexibility. I have argued for more supplies of personal protective equipment to be made available by governments to public sector mental health staff and to psychiatrists and their employees in the private sector. And, due to the demands the Covid-19 pandemic is having on psychiatrists, I have asked the College to issue certificates of CPD completion to members for the years 2019 and 2020 without the usual documentation.
Other important matters for College action are:
- The need to advocate for the financial viability and stability of private practice
- A stronger stance on improving the terms and conditions of service and remuneration of public sector positions
- A campaign to return Continuing Professional Development to focus on the educational and skill needs of individual psychiatrists rather than being a time consuming bureaucratic exercise
- A focus on improving the attractiveness and quality of psychiatric education for medical students and training experiences for registrars in order to recruit the best, brightest and most talented junior colleagues
- An emphasis on correcting the historical dispossession of our most vulnerable patients of their most basic and humane care
- Immediate action to deal with the crisis in staffing psychiatrist positions in public mental health services that puts at risk the future development of academic psychiatry
These challenges are not insurmountable. They will require bold and fresh ideas. I believe I have the experience and energy to work with the College Board to bring about change.
It is very important that you vote at this election and by now you would have received an email from Corpvote with the electronic voting platform information. Please vote. I would be most grateful if you would place me first in the list of five candidates you vote for.
Prof Philip Morris