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Regulators’ response to COVID-19

31 March 2020

The RANZCP welcomes the Medical Board of Australia and the Medical Council of New Zealand’s support of doctors during the escalating COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Enabling doctors to focus on urgent clinical matters and supporting them to maintain their health and wellbeing is of utmost importance currently for our communities in Australia and New Zealand.

The recent decisions of the Medical Board of Australia will see more medical practitioners into the health system and increase employer flexibility during these unprecedented times.

The Medical Board of Australia decisions include the following:

  • To inform practitioners that the Medical Board of Australia will not take action if a practitioner does not meet the CPD registration standards
  • Waive most mandatory requirements for trainees
  • Streamline the process for changes in circumstances for IMGs so that an application is not required in many circumstances for hospital-based positions. A notice from the Director of Medical Services will suffice
  • Waive progression requirements for IMGs for this year, noting that the Australian Medical Council and many specialist college examinations, and assessments, including the RANZCP’s OSCE’s in April, have been cancelled or postponed.

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) has decided to exempt all General and vocationally-registered doctors from recertification programme requirements until 28 February 2021. Doctors with general or vocational registration, who return to practice, will not be required to enrol in the Inpractice or College programme until that date.  MCNZ will not be auditing doctors for compliance with recertification programmes over the coming 11 months, but Council will expect doctors to be enrolled and actively participating in their required programmes from 1 March 2021.

The RANZCP Board will be urgently considering recommendations for the College’s CPD program to support these new elements. Further information on these recommendations will be circulated to the membership in the coming days.