Dear <<First Name>>
“The Three Cs”

A member of the Minicourt of Paediatric Surgery Examiners came up with this acronym to underline our work to hold a standardized hybrid/remote examination to the same valid standard as the usual face to face examinations, during the lockdowns.  Community, College and Candidates. Protect the surgical standards for the benefit of the community. Uphold the values and ethics of our College. Care for our colleagues and candidates. It’s an acronym to summarise what we do in our daily lives and, particularly, College activities.

With the three Cs in mind, members of the State Committee visited Bundaberg and Hervey Bay Hospitals recently. We are restarting hospital visits, which were frequent prior to the pandemic.  We go to support and celebrate surgical training and surgical standards in regional areas of Queensland and provide advocacy to Queensland Health. We also help improve networking linkages with speciality representatives on the Committee for outreach and support.What we found was the basics haven’t changed. Everywhere we visit we find hardworking surgeons dedicated to their community, to training and to providing the best care they can within the resource limitations of their health service. The surgeons have close involvement with their teams and local people, with the benefits of the best of regional living with access to sports, family, schools, and prime real estate locations. Yet, the frustrations are palpable and all too familiar: not enough teamwork with executive and hospital management; great difficulties accessing emergency theaters which impact heavily on patient outcomes and elective surgery bed block; and poor transfer times to major centers for conditions that can’t be managed locally. Despite the great lifestyle and financial security, recruitment of ANZ trained surgeons, anaesthetists, intensivists, and gastroenterologists remains a stubborn hurdle.  

Some of these issues we are trying to address through advocacy for SOSS (Save Our Surgical Services) Program, and advocacy with the Rural Health and Equity Committee, and the Rural Surgeons Section of our College.   With Central and North Queensland developing “End to End” medical school training, we will work with them to increase rural and regional doctor training.  Notwithstanding some nonprocedural colleges’ underestimating the complexity of providing in-depth training in surgery, RACS supports improving rural junior doctor access to surgical training programs. 

There are several concepts to SOSS as proposed by Sanjeev Naidu and Brian McGowan, which began as ideas on our regional hospital visits.  The first is establishing the vulnerabilities of each health service, whether that is a lack of subspeciality service or lack of leave cover for specialties with low local consultant numbers. We then propose single point accountability and responsibility for metro services providing outreach advice, clinics and transfers. Consultant surgeons in regional areas don’t want to spend hours on the phone to administrators, bed managers and junior staff to meet the needs of their critically ill patients. Similarly, those of us in metro areas need to create specialty networks that will provide cover so that, for example the single surgeon in a large regional city can have leave or have in-reach help with complex cases. I have talked to surgeons providing these locums – they love it! See Queensland, provide care to those who need it most - whether it is a fitting “giveback” for those towards the end of their careers or a boost at the start of a career.  The State Committee believes it is up to us in the capital areas to provide these networks, not to the overburdened isolated single surgeons to find a network.  
Many of these great ideas are not new. Those involved in the State Committee over the years remember working on the same issues or challenges in the past.  The problem is the constant change in Government, Health Ministers and Health Department officials.  Something is explained by surgeons, solutions advised and accepted, only to be dropped at the next election or budget.  For these reasons we are working on the concept of a “Chief Surgeon” who will provide consistent advice on surgical matters, workforce, and oversight of projects with surgical import across public and private sectors. This officeholder would be part of the State Committee so that there is transparency and communication.  

One of these advocacy projects we have had over the last two years is an Emergency Surgery KPI (Key Performance Indicator).   Whether it is Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast or RBWH; emergency theatre access remains a huge source of burnout and dissatisfaction to surgeons throughout the State working in public.  Hospital CEOs have a requirement on them to meet targets relevant to elective surgery NEST (National Elective Surgery Targets) and NEAT (National Emergency Access Targets). However, there is no KPI for emergency surgery to protect our most vulnerable patients.

We have gained departmental support for this and further discussions are continuing.  I would like to thank Dr Sanjeev Naidu and Dr Matthew Hope for their assistance in many meetings we have held with senior Health Department members.

The Committee is here to engage with you and hear your concerns. To facilitate this the State Committee has restructured its office bearer positions with two deputies Dr Ray Lancashire – Metropolitan and Dr Roxanne Wu – Regional/Rural Services and Secretary Sanjeev Naidu to assist me with College and Government official meetings. Please note below the membership of the Queensland State Committee. Please reach out to them.

Elected members
Prof Deborah Bailey – Chair
Dr Ray Lancashire (Deputy Chair - Metropolitan) - General surgery
Dr Sanjeev Naidu (Secretary) - General surgery
Dr Roxanne Wu  (Deputy Chair – Regional / Rural)- General surgery
Dr Simon Platt - Orthopaedic surgery
Dr Wayne Ng - Neurosurgery
Dr Elizabeth Hodge - Otolaryngology head & neck surgery
Dr Joshua Grundy - General surgery
Dr Damian Fry - General surgery
Dr Garrath Evans - Urology
Dr Christopher Bell - Orthopaedic surgery
Dr Emilia Dauway - General Surgery
Dr Harsheet Sethi - General Surgery
Co-opted members
Dr Rebecca Won - Plastic & reconstructive surgery - Queensland Younger Fellows
Dr Raja Sawhney - Plastic & reconstructive surgery - Research Prizes
Dr John Quinn - Vascular surgery - Executive Director of Surgical Affairs
Dr Matthew Hope - Orthopaedic surgery - Queensland Trauma Committee
Dr Robert Franz - General surgery - Surgical Advisory Committee
RACSTA representative to be advised
College Councillors
Associate Professor Lawrie Malisano - Orthopaedic surgery College Vice President
Professor Owen Ung - General surgery
Professor Christopher Pyke - General surgery
Dr Sarah Coll - Orthopaedic surgery
Dr Rebecca Jack - Vascular surgery

Professor Deborah Bailey
Chair Queensland State Committee

The 2021 State Conference
Friday 19 - Sunday 21 November 2021
Peppers Resort Noosa
Online registration opens now! Please click here to see the draft program and it is also available on our website. Sessions will include the following:
  • Planning – QHealth/Directors of Surgery
  • KPI – QHealth /Directors of Surgery
  • Resources – theatre, anaesthetists, surgeons
  • Generalism in surgery – training/college
  • Trauma/Emergency Surgery
  • Rural issues - RACS Rural Health Equity Strategic Action Plan and SOSS Program
  • Medical students – work life balance versus acute surgery provision in the future
  • Trainees – fatigue, supervision, flexible training impacts strategy/supervision in training afterhours/quality
As is customary at the State Conference, we will have the David Theile Lecture which will be delivered by Dr Michael Wagels and a Dinner Speech from the Honoured Guest Dr Rosslyn Walker.
Dr Rosslyn Walker
Honoured Guest Speaker

Rosslyn was awarded FRACS in General Surgery in 1976 and as Paediatric Surgeon in 1979. She worked for Queensland Health for 47 years as RMO, Surgical Registrar, then consultant VMO surgeon. Rosslyn was elected as the first female President of the international Pacific Association of Paediatric Surgeons in 2002 and was appointed as Director of Surgery at Royal Children’s Hospital in 1997. She became a medical staff representative in numerous hospital committees at both Brisbane Children’s Hospitals. She is committed to both undergraduate and post graduate teaching with University of Queensland Department of Child Health and RACS Board of Paediatric Surgery. Rosslyn has had national and international involvement with clinical, genetic and molecular biology research groups for neonatal hyperinsulinism. Her other research interests include safety in health service, innovative techniques and prevention strategies in burns and trauma. Although Rosslyn is now retired from the workplace, she is maintaining an interest in Paediatric Surgical activities at QCH.
Michael Wagels
David Theile Lecturer

Michael is a Staff Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. He undertook surgical training in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and was awarded FRACS in plastic and reconstructive surgery in 2012. Michael interrupted training to undertake research and was awarded a PhD from the University of Queensland in 2013. Michael established the first multi-specialty point of care manufacturing facility in Brisbane at the Australian Centre for Complex Integrated Surgical Solutions on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus. He has recently been appointed the Clinical Director of the Herston Biofabrication Institute, a large scale point of care manufacturing enterprise with a multi-million dollar research programme. The Institute embodies the tenet that large scale clinically applied innovations are only possible through the collaborations of academic, commercial and clinical partnerships. The Institute is the first of its kind in Australia and is actively involved in forging the convergence of surgery and engineering.
Neville Davis & RACS Papers Prize
The Neville Davis and RACS Papers Prize is a premier research prize open to all Queensland Medical Students, Queensland Surgical Trainees of all specialties, PHOs and Junior Doctors for presentation on a surgical topic.
Abstract Submissions will close on 
Monday 16 August 2021. 

Heats to be held on Saturday 2 October 2021. Finals will be held at the Queensland State Conference on Friday 19 November 2021

To improve the quality of your abstract, please watch How to Write an Abstract Webinar given by Dr Michael Wagels. 

Preparation for Private Practice 
Saturday 6 - Sunday 7 November 2021
Avant Mutual Brisbane Office
  • RACS Member - $345
  • Non-RACS Member - $385
Are you properly equipped to start a private practice? Do you have the support network to make your practice a success?

The interactive two-day workshop is here to provide the practical tools needed to start you journey in the private sector. 
The focus is on practicality and experience provided by fellow surgeons, consultant speakers and industry experts. Participants will also have the chance to speak to Fellows who have experience in starting up a private practice. Draft program is now available!

Register Online
Call Out for Examiners

The Clinical Committee are seeking examiners for our upcoming October 2021 Clinical Examination. 

RACS Clinical Examiners:

  • Are involved in the assessment of SET Trainees
  • Gain valuable CPD points – 4 points per examination (i.e. 12 points for the whole weekend)
  • Opportunity to meet and build rapport with colleagues

Date:  Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 October 2021

Venue: Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital

Timings and sessions are to be confirmed.

Clinical Examiner Training:

Please note you may be required to complete Clinical Examiner training if you haven’t examined recently. The training will require 1 - 2 hours of your time and will be held a week or two prior to the exam. Further information will be sent in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your time and consideration to examine in October. We will be in touch with further information regarding schedules and examiner training at a later date.

To register your interest please email

16th National Rural Health Conference

If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of people who live and work in rural or remote areas of Australia this is the conference for you. The National Rural Health Conference is the pre-eminent event in Australia for information and inspiration about rural and remote health and wellbeing. 

Date: 30 May - 1 June 2022
Where: Perth, WA
Submit an abstract now! Call for abstracts close 8th August 2021. Please see more information about the abstract process here.
For further information go to the Conference website or call 02 6285 4660.
Court Finds Surgeon’s Decision Did Not Compromise Duty of Care
An orthopaedic surgeon has been successfully defended over allegations of negligence regarding his decision not to remove ankle fixation hardware; an infection developed years later and it was suggested by the patient that the fixation was the cause of the infection.
The case emphasises the importance for doctors to clearly record their decision-making process and to communicate openly with their patients about their decisions.

See full article here. 
Property Ownership - Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

With such a hot property market right now, many RACS members are likely looking to purchase their forever home or expand their real estate investment portfolio.

One of RACS partners, Walshs, explain the different types of property co-ownership and what you need to consider before signing a contract.
Key Options to Consider When Making the Move to Private Practice
Regardless of whether you are joining an established medical practice, or establishing your own, there are several key issues you should consider before putting pen to paper. Craig Hong, Director at Hillhouse Legal Partners, outlines key options and considerations for early career doctors looking at their next chapter.

See full article here. 
Surgeons' Wellbeing
RACS encourages all surgeons to recognise and discuss any challenges facing them and to ensure self-care is part of managing their professional life.
Check out our support program and resources
Member Advantage
Fellows and Trainees of the College can access exclusive discounts on a range of quality lifestyle products and financial services through the RACS Member Advantage benefit program.
Further information
Prevocational doctors can subscribe to an ePortfolio and educational resources that have been designed to support the Framework and promote flexible online self-directed learning.
Subscribe to JDocs
SimuSurg app
Experience a virtual operative environment to refine your operating skills. The app created by surgeons for surgeons simulates minimally invasive surgery.

Download SimuSurg via the
App Store or Google Play.
Speak Up app
RACS' new app can assist surgeons to comfortably address unacceptable behaviour using the Vanderbilt model, from the Operating with Respect (OWR) course.

Download the app via the App Store or Google Play.
Confidential support services are available for College members and their immediate family or household members. Experienced counsellors are available to speak with you about personal or work related matters.
More information

Professor Deborah Bailey
Queensland State Committee
RACS Queensland webpage
RACS Queensland Email
RACS Twitter
RACS Facebook
RACS YouTube
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