Attack on RANZCO over training numbers; two presidents refute press claims

An attack on The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists on the front page of The Weekend Australian newspaper on 24 March over training numbers has been refuted by two presidents of the college.

• The article claimed RANZCO limited the number of new ophthalmologists, causing excessive waiting times for elective surgery and high ‘gap’ fees, as well as claiming certain services, including cataract surgery, are being performed too often in some areas and not enough in others..

• t quoted the findings of a part-completed report from the National Medical Training Advisory Network which said the number of new RANZCO fellows declined 13.8 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

• Also, that 89.5 per cent work in the private sector and 83.6 per cent work in major cities.

The current president of RANZCO, Associate Professor Mark Daniell said the college is keen to train as many new ophthalmologists as required to meet the current and future needs of the Australian and New Zealand population and that the number of new ophthalmologists has risen from 28 in 2010-11 to 42 in 2015-16. Last year there were 1,013 RANCO fellows.

Current president’s response

Professor Daniell said RANZCO is keen to train as many new ophthalmologists as required to meet the current and future needs of

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By | March 25th, 2018|Training|

55.3% of optometrists are endorsed for therapeutic drugs


The percentage of the 5,300 registered optometrists in Australia who are endorsed for use of scheduled medicines is 55.3%, according to the most-recent figures from the Optometry Board of Australia.

The figures, for 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017, show there are 53.5% female and 46.5% males registered as optometrists.

New South Wales has 33.26% of the total, Victoria 26.435, Queensland 20.01%, Western Australia 7.69%, South Australia 5.67%, Tasmania 1.71%, Australian Capital Territory 1.53% and Northern Territory 0.62%.

By | March 11th, 2018|Training|

New medical school for rural Queensland

Central Queensland University on 9 March announced its intention to open a new medical school.

However the Australian Medical Students Association Rural Health Committee has called on the federal and Queensland governments to reject any new medical school proposals, on the basis that graduate numbers already exceed training places and the proposed location will duplicate existing federally-funded rural clinical schools.

“Along with Charles Sturt, La Trobe, and Macquarie, yet another university is selfishly ignoring the message that Australia is currently producing too many medical students, and the evidence that an increase in student numbers is not translating to more rural doctors,” the co-chair of AMSARH, Ms Nic Batten, said:

Medical student numbers have more than doubled in the past ten years, but that has not been matched by an increase in the number of intern places, nor in speciality-training positions.

It is estimated by the AMSARHC that as many as 1,000 graduates in medicine will miss out on training positions by 2030 and that any new CQU or other medical school will only exacerbate that oversupply without providing more medical practitioners for country areas.


By | March 11th, 2018|Training|

AMA rejects changes to accreditation standards for health-practitioner training

The Australian Medical Association has rejected proposals that It says would water down the accreditation standards for health-care practitioners, undermine patient safety, and involve more cost and bureaucracy.

The vice-president of the AMA, Dr Tony Bartone, yesterday said that the proposals, made in the draft report of the Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, would allow more bureaucratic and political interference in health workforce training.


The draft report recommends establishing a new agency, the Health Education Accreditation Board, as a single, national, cross-profession accreditation framework for health workforce education and training, and establishing Accreditation Committees to develop standards for the Board to approve.

“Accreditation has a critical role in protecting the public by ensuring the highest standards of education and training are in place,” Dr Bartone said.

“Australia has a world-class health system that delivers very good outcomes for patients. The results achieved are, in large measure, the product of a highly-skilled health workforce that is responsive to community need, and committed to innovation and continuous improvement.


“Independent, profession-led health workforce accreditation arrangements, where the safety of the public is paramount, are one of the strengths of the Australian health system.

“Patients should be very worried about the review’s draft recommendations, which would water down our world-leading accreditation arrangements and are

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By | October 16th, 2017|Training|