RANZCP – Message from the President
RANZCP International Congress of Psychiatry, Hong Kong 2016
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is delighted to announce the International Congress of Psychiatry, which will be held in Hong Kong from 8-12 May 2016, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre. The Congress will be hosted by the Victorian Branch in association with the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.
As per its inviting theme ‘Regional challenges, worldwide influence’, the event will support ongoing collaboration with colleagues in the Asia-Pacific region and encourage opportunities for building and enhancing psychiatric relationships.
Congress will centre on an extensive scientific program with strong input from all College Faculties and Sections. The program will display the latest developments in psychiatry with world-class speakers. All aspects of Congress 2016 present a fantastic opportunity to update your professional knowledge, while enjoying the company of colleagues and friends. Hong Kong is not only Asia’s business hub, but also a vibrant, dynamic city whose captivating cultural experiences will bring a local and unique flavour to the Congress. Visit www.ranzcp2016.com.
Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce
As many psychiatrists will be aware, the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley, has announced the establishment of a Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. This significant review will be of critical importance to many RANZCP members. To ensure members’ views are represented in the College’s upcoming formal submission to this taskforce, the College has established a specific working group and is consulting broadly with members and College groups.
College contribution to National Ice Taskforce
In June this year, the RANZCP made a detailed submission to the National Ice Taskforce, advocating for a rehabilitative approach to dealing with methamphetamine abuse over a punitive one wherever possible. The submission made recommendations based on a clinically-informed perspective and follows wide consultation with its expert committees. Of major importance is the need to resource alcohol and other drug services, and addiction psychiatry in a manner commensurate with its importance in addressing methamphetamine use, and with the level of need in the community. The RANZCP also calls on the Taskforce to take a leadership role in reducing the stigmatisation of drug use disorders. This is a serious issue which can create barriers to accessing treatment, discrimination and marginalisation. Read the complete submission.
Australian Border Force Act
Much has been said in the media recently about the introduction of the Border Force Act. The College has voiced concerns about the Act through a co-signed media statement with 11 other organisations, calling for the Australian Border Force Act to be amended.
In recognition of the strong links between mental health and constitutional recognition, the RANZCP has recently become a Recognise Campaign Partner. The College believes that this is an important step towards addressing the inequality of mental health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. Prioritising high quality mental health outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres people remains a strategic priority of the RANZCP Strategic Plan 2015-2017.
This follows the College’s ongoing work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, as well as the RANZCP’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services
The College welcomed in June the announcement of the establishment of the Mental Health Expert Reference Group which provides advice to inform the Government’s response to the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services. We were pleased to see the inclusion of several psychiatrists as well as consumer representatives and participants from other areas of mental health care. The College looks forward to hearing from the group, and to contributing to the stakeholder engagement process.
Published: 31 Aug 2015