FPM Board meeting update

Read a report of the Faculty of Pain Medicine Board meeting held on 21 February 2021.

Sustainability, workforce and wellbeing

Board election: Associate Professor Michael Vagg, Dr Kieran Davis and Dr Susie Lord were congratulated on their re-election to the FPM board, with Associate Professor Vagg successfully re-appointed as FPM dean. 

Māori name: The faculty provided its support to the name Te Whare Tohu o Te Hau Whakaora for use as a Te Reo Māori name for the college and faculty, which was launched at the New Zealand National Committee’s Cultural Safety and Leadership Hui on 28 February.

Election by-law retired: In July 2020 the faculty board made the decision to retire the election to fellowship pathway by-law 3.2. Further to this decision, the board has agreed to a transition period to retire this by-law until 30 June 2021, during which time eligible individuals may submit an application for election to fellowship for consideration by the board. While the transition period has been widely communicated through normal faculty channels, some eligible candidates may fall outside these networks. Any fellows interested in applying via this pathway must do so by 30 June 2021. The requirements for submitting an application are outlined in by-law 3.2. For any queries, please email Leone English, Executive Director FPM via FPM@anzca.edu.au.

Education and training

Fellowship exam: The faculty recently conducted a fellowship examination with 23 candidates in 10 locations across five different time zones in four countries. All candidates passed. The Barbara Walker Prize was awarded as well as three merit prizes. The faculty acknowledges the remarkable efforts of the faculty team, regional staff and examiners for their efforts in successfully hosting the exams in challenging conditions.  

Better Pain Management: More than 7300 licences for the Therapeutic Goods Administration-funded Better Pain Management e-learning modules have been sold to date. The free program is available until 30 June 2021.

National Health Practitioner Ombudsman: An independent review on procedural accreditation processes will be undertaken in 2021 by the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman. The ombudsman will have the authority to review decisions made by the college, with regard to the removal of accreditation from training sites, or unsuccessful specialist international medical graduate applications. 

Leadership and advocacy

NZ pain medicine framework: In January 2021 Dr Martin Chadwick, Head of Allied Health for the Ministry of Health,  hosted a meeting with Dr Tipu Aamir, FPM New Zealand National Committee chair, Dr Duncan Wood, FPM NZNC Deputy Chair, Dr Kieran Davis and Renaldo Christians, ANZCA Senior Policy Advisor. The faculty has been invited to discuss the development a National Pain Medicine Model of Care Framework for New Zealand and to put forward names for the formation of an expert advisory group to guide the work.

Cannabis and Choosing Wisely: The board have approved a new National Prescribing Service (NPS) Medicinewise Choosing Wisely recommendation advising against the use of medicinal cannabis products in chronic non-cancer pain, unless part of a registered clinical trial. The new recommendation will be launched alongside the outcome of the presidential taskforce report from the International Association for the Study of Pain, on the medicinal use of cannabinoids. 

National action plan: The National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management was approved late last year by the Australian government and has been forwarded to each Australian jurisdiction for their consideration and commitment. In line with this development, the faculty is liaising with regional committees to gain information on local issues and priorities and is embarking on an advocacy strategy with state and territory health ministers.

Fitness to drive: The National Transport Commission (NTC) and Austroads are reviewing Assessing Fitness to Drive (AFTD), the medical standards that inform driver licensing. The college and faculty have recommended that content be developed for assessing people with chronic pain. The NTC has now requested further expert advice and representation on a medicinal cannabis AFTD working group. Professor Milton Cohen is providing expert input and there will be further opportunities for consultation as the project progresses.

PainStar project: $20,000 in sponsorship has been provided to the Australian Pain Society for the PainStar project to support of a five-day immersive face-to-face program for early- to mid-career researchers, which aims to assist them in translating their research into clinical practice. This is an opportunity to foster research in pain medicine and to raise the profile of the faculty. 

Disability royal commission: The college and faculty have been invited to provide feedback to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Research and quality improvement

Education strategy: As part of the Australian Department of Health-funded project to develop a national pain management education strategy for health practitioners, six stakeholder engagement workshops have been scheduled throughout March. Face-to-face workshops will be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, with a further three workshops conducted virtually for stakeholder in Queensland, Western Australia and rural/remote areas. Once the outcomes of the workshops are consolidated, a “validation” group will be formed to review and agree the findings. A draft strategy will be circulated later this year for broader consultation. 

Procedures program: The Procedures Endorsement Program has progressed to pilot stage with five applications received to date. The Procedures in Pain Medicine Steering Group will transition into a faculty committee at the conclusion of the pilot.


Last updated 12:26 17.03.2021