Dear ASOS members,
- Currently, national accreditation for all doctors is via the Australian Medical Council(AMC). The AMC delegates the training and accreditation of surgeons to the various colleges or subspecialty societies. In the case of orthopaedics AOA selects, educates and trains Australian orthopaedic surgeons on behalf of RACS via a memorandum of understanding. Following completion of training and successfully negotiating the fellowship examination, RACS recommends accreditation to the AMC.
- This system of training and accreditation is under threat.
- In 2010, a proposal to set up the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) was opposed by the medical profession. This proposal would have effectively taken accreditation out of the hands of the AMC and transferred it to a ministerially appointed body to oversee the whole process (ie AMC becomes a sub-committee).
- Over the years there have been proposals to establish a government accreditation committee.
- A 2017 report by former public servant Prof Michael Woods recommended a government-appointed accreditation committee be set up, effectively reproducing the previous plan. If implemented, accreditation of the medical profession will be taken out of the hands of the profession and tha AMC and handed to public servants and politicians.
- We have now been informed that the Australian Health Council (all State and Federal Ministers for Health) have agreed to establish such an Accreditation Committee, the implementation of which, we are advised, is being handled by the CEO of AHPRA.
- Training and accreditation by the profession is the foundation of high-quality patient care in Australia. The current proposal puts this at risk.
- The Australian Orthopaedic Association has been made aware of these developments, and COPS and the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges are preparing a statement on the matter.
Stephen Milgate AM