President's Column March 2024

I’ve received many messages from members with connection to both Israel and Palestine calling for the end of the conflict and sharing stories of trauma and loss. As psychiatrists, we’re deeply concerned about the psychological impacts of these events, both now and intergenerationally. The RANZCP has written to the governments of both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to support their efforts to end the conflict and provide aid, expressing our concern for and solidarity with all those who are being impacted by the conflict, and welcoming the opportunity to discuss what assistance we could offer. I thank everyone across our College who is working actively to support each other and our communities in both our countries and overseas.

Earlier this month, key changes endorsed by the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce came into effect in Australia. There are many positive changes for psychiatry as a result of the College’s persistent advocacy, including a significant increase in the schedule fee for ECT and greater provision for consultation with families. However, there have been further restrictions imposed on telehealth provision that will have an adverse impact on access to affordable care. We are closely monitoring this and continue to advocate for change in this area.

I extend my congratulations to all the deserving recipients of this year’s College awards. The RANZCP awards are presented each year in recognition of our members’ contributions and achievements in psychiatric training, practice and research. What a talented membership and community we have!

On the CPD front, we continue to invest in improvements to help members successfully complete their continuing professional development requirements easily each year. A new labelling system, CAPE, has been introduced in MyCPD to make it easier for doctors to ensure they are undertaking at least one CPD activity annually in each of the four domains (Culturally safe practice, Addressing health inequities, Professionalism, and Ethics).

As a College, we rely immensely on members’ contributions and feedback to guide our collective work and priorities. So I’d like to remind you of the following: 

  • The 2024 Member Engagement Survey is open until 5 April. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to share your views with us.
  • Voting to elect four Elected Director positions on the RANZCP Board will close on 14 April. I urge all Fellows to carefully consider the candidates and cast your vote before the deadline.
  • Applications for the position of Editor, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry are open until 15 April. I invite eligible members with an interest in publishing, research or academia to consider applying.

And finally, with just over 7 weeks to go, excitement is certainly building for this year’s Congress in Canberra. It’s a special milestone as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first ANZCP (before we became ‘Royal’) Congress in 1964. While this conference has seen much change over the years (including the gala dinner menu!), what remains unchanged is its pivotal role as the meeting place for College members and the mental health community. I’ll leave you with this nostalgic throwback and hope to see you in Canberra in May. 

Dr Elizabeth Moore
RANZCP President


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