Tasmanian Regional Committee newsletter

05 August 2022

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) Chair's update

Our people and our committee

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) 

  • Dr Lia Freestone (Chair).
  • Dr Lisa Allen and Dr Stuart Paterson (Trainee Committee Co-chairs and representatives).
  • Dr Pravin Dahal (Safety and Quality Officer).
  • Dr Nina Loughman (FPM representative).
  • Dr Simon Morphett (ASA representative).
  • Dr Bruce Newman (Northern representative).
  • Dr Margo Peart (General member).
  • Dr Angela Ralph (Education Officer).
  • Dr Ranjita Sharma (Co-opted general member).
  • Dr Jeremy Sutton (TAC Officer).
  • Dr Sam Walker (CME Officer).
  • Associate Professor Deborah Wilson (Ex Officio Council representative).
  • Dr Jana Vitesnikova (General member).

TRC chair statement

I wish to announce that I will be stepping down as the Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) chair after the committee meeting in November 2022. I’ve had a long and continuous role with the TRC since 2006 and have had the pleasure of fulfilling the position of chair since 2018, but I’m now reaching the end of my time in the role. I’ll continue to be involved with the college and the anaesthesia profession and will explore new opportunities as they arise.
Regarding process, the TRC is now seeking internal expressions of interest from our elected committee members to become chair. I look forward to working with and supporting the new chair in their work and that of the committee.
Working with the committee has been personally and professionally fulfilling. It has been a great opportunity to get involved with aspects of our profession that I care about. The opportunity to meet and work with inspiring and effective people, locally and bi-nationally, is one of the great strengths of the role.
The TRC is a busy, locally representative and inclusive committee with a valuable relationship with the college and the profession. I am proud of its many activities, but I’d particularly like to recognise our efforts in advocacy, training and continuing professional development (CPD).
The TRC works to represent and support the Tasmanian anaesthesia community and consistently strives to ensure the needs of our small state are heard, considered and met through training, workforce, and professional standards. We provide a voice for Tasmania, including the many behind the scenes conversations that can and have led to change.
I’m also very proud of the consistently excellent high quality CPD that the TRC, together with the Tasmanian ASA Committee of Management, delivers for Tasmania and beyond on the big island. While there are too many people to mention individually, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has been involved in CPD over the years. Tasmania punches above its weight with excellent local events, destination meetings and the national ANZCA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Kuala Lumpur in 2019. It takes a team of dedicated excellent people to share their time, energy and expertise to deliver these events. I would like to acknowledge everyone’s effort. Thanks team, you are all superb!

Committee recognition and thanks

The TRC wishes to extend its deep thanks to current and outgoing committee members Dr Shirin Jamshidi for her strong wellbeing representation, Dr Brigid Ikin as a well-liked and effective Tasmanian trainee committee chair, and Dr David Alcock as perioperative representative.
As always, the committee would like to recognise and thank Janette Papps, our ANZCA Tasmanian Regional Coordinator for her dedicated support and stewardship of the committee and its activities over many years.
The TRC welcomes the strong ongoing support of ANZCA.

Committee invitation

So, on the back of all that, here’s an exciting opportunity!
The ANZCA Tasmanian Regional Committee is seeking interested people to fill casual vacancies for 2022 and beyond. Working with the committee is a great opportunity to work with like-minded people, to be involved in the work of ANZCA and to contribute to our profession. It’s rewarding and sometimes even involves a tasty meal. If you have an itch to contribute and become involved, please get in touch with TRC Chair Dr Lia Freestone. You will be welcomed.
If you’re interested in contributing to CPD events, either as an organiser, facilitator or speaker, please let us know. The ongoing excellence of these activities relies on us. The more the merrier!

COVID-19 update

The current third wave of COVID-19, largely attributed to BA-4 and BA-5 sub-variants, combined with the winter flu season, is having a significant impact on the health system in Tasmania, in both primary care and hospital settings. All Tasmanian public hospitals are at level 3 of a 4-point escalation process with significant numbers of COVID patients in the hospital; large, unpredictable and often short notice cutbacks to elective surgery; and ongoing high levels of staff leave. There are rolling impacts on clinical capacity, staff wellbeing and morale. There are concerns that the situation may further deteriorate before the current wave peaks and then there will be a significant backlog of patients to consider. Many private hospitals are also now managing patients with COVID-19 in both inpatient and outpatient settings. There is no shortage of adequate, appropriate and fit-tested PPE. Beyond clinical care, COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on out of theatre activities and creates ongoing challenges for meetings and education, including inadequate access to appropriate spaces. 
The TRC notes the recent industrial action by nursing staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital which reflects this new and ongoing stress in an already under-resourced health system with high demand.

AMC accreditation

The college is currently undergoing a review by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). The TRC recently contributed to this extensive review process and raised some important issues that affect smaller states, including the challenges of small fellow numbers, demands of representation and issues related to communication. We’ll continue to be involved and provide information as requested.

A brief tour of other key committee activities and highlights

The TRC keeps itself pretty busy! It focuses on the needs of the Tasmanian anaesthesia community and the core priorities of ANZCA through effective local representation and action. In particular the TRC has a strong focus on training through the excellent Tasmanian Anaesthetic Training Program; lifelong education through our high quality locally organised and delivered CPD program (thanks to Sam Walker and all the convenors, organising committees and facilitators); and multi-pronged advocacy on diverse issues including workforce through the specialist training program (STP); safety and quality issues; credentialling and accreditation. We’re also vocal about ongoing advocacy for the needs of our trainees and fellows including examinations, access to essential skills, courses and promotion of self-sufficiency in the development, maintenance and growth of excellence in anaesthesia in Tasmania.

Pain update

2022 has seen many challenges in the pain medicine sphere so far. The easing of COVID restrictions has seen the return of face-to-face appointments and teaching sessions. COVID processes however, continue to benefit patients and staff. Telehealth appointments can now be arranged with ease for distant patients. Some teaching continues via online platforms including the state-wide pain education day held in April.
Workforce issues continue to be a challenge. The Persistent Pain Service is working towards reaccreditation which will ease the staffing shortages and future proof the service. This will further strengthen Tasmania’s pain strategy which approaches its final form.
Dr Nina Loughman
FPM Representative, Tasmanian Regional Committee

CME update

Tasmanian ACE Winter Meeting

Registrations are still open for the Tasmanian ACE Winter Meeting at the award-winning Josef Chromy on Saturday 20 August.
Come and enjoy one of a limited number of opportunities to get some CPD points in Tasmania this year. The day is a great opportunity to catch up with local and interstate colleagues as well as hear updates on regional anaesthesia, pain medicine, education, social media and various other topics. The day will wind up with a discussion of the state of the wine industry in Australia by senior lecturer from Melbourne University, Mr Chris Barnes, followed by a delicious three course dinner.
We hope to see you there.
Dr Ryan Hughes
Convenor, Tasmanian ACE Winter Meeting
Tasmanian CPD in a day
Get in quickly! Registrations are now open.
Book 5 November 2022 for CPD in a day, to be held at the Medical Science Precinct in Hobart. We’re holding emergency response workshops including ASBD, CICO, ALS and major haemorrhage.
We’re excited for the day and feel that the workshop day is a much needed meeting in Tasmania. We’ll finish off the day with a fun and relaxing social gathering at Boodle Beasely in north Hobart.
Dr Nat Jackson and Dr Harry Laughlin
Co-convenors, CPD in a day

Tasmanian ACE Annual Scientific Meeting and Tasmanian Trainee Day

Head south for an exciting summer meeting next year! Hobart will be hosting the Tasmanian Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) over 25 and 26 February 2023. Over two days we’ll be “Making connections” through a day of lectures and a day of workshops, exploring the realms of airway management, perioperative medicine, pain management and sustainability.
Our perioperative session will be led by Professor Bernhard Riedel from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Pain expert, Dr Suyin Tan from Nepean Hospital will be guiding us through the connections of analgesia and anaesthesia in a patient's journey. Our scientific session will cover airway and onco-anaesthesia with updates from Professors Reny Segal and Bernhard Riedel. Our local speakers will be providing insights into Tasmanian challenges and updates in perioperative medicine, airway management, regional anaesthesia and sustainability.
The new venue, the Hotel Grand Chancellor, will ensure a spacious, COVID-safe but social environment. Our social function, a cocktail style affair enjoying water views, will be held at the renowned Aloft Restaurant. Please note the date in your calendar. Registrations will open in October 2022. The annual trainee day will again be preceding the meeting on Friday 24 February 2023 at Hadley’s Orient Hotel. 
We’re expecting registrations to open in late September 2022.
Dr Stephanie Cruise and Dr Jana Vitesnikova
Co-convenors, 2023 Tasmanian ASM

Tasmanian Trainee Committee update

2022 has been a successful year for Tasmanian anaesthesia trainees so far.
Despite the evolving challenges faced due to COVID-19, the resilience and determination demonstrated by Tasmanian trainees has been impressive. This is exemplified by the ongoing successes of trainees in examinations, areas of quality improvement and sustainability projects. Tasmanian trainees have continued to achieve excellent results in both the primary and fellowship exams due to both their own hard work, and thanks to the support from senior colleagues, mentors and supervisors.
The Tasmanian Anaesthetic Training Program ensures weekly consultant lead online teaching sessions for both the primary and fellowship examinations, providing trainees with a foundation of knowledge to build their own study plans upon. There’s also additional support with mock examinations, providing feedback and guidance for candidates, as well as individual support from Tasmania’s current and past ANZCA examiners. 
Tasmania is also at the forefront on trainee lead sustainability projects, aiming to reduce environmental pollution and increase recycling. This is hugely impressive to see, showing a growing culture of sustainability in clinical practice.
Finally, it has been inspiring how, even in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, trainees at all hospitals sites across Tasmania have worked together and supported one another while still providing excellence in care to the communities we work and live in.  
Dr Stuart Paterson and Dr Lisa Allen
Co-chairs, Tasmanian Trainee Committee

Education Update

The education officer / supervisor of training (SOT) meeting was recently held face-to-face in Hobart with a Zoom link to North West Regional Hospital (NWRH). Thanks to all who attended. It provided an opportunity to continue the coordinated state approach to training and support of trainees. Dr Maggie Wong (ANZCA DPA) attended via Zoom to share an update on changes to the ANZCA trainee support program and resources available to SOTs and EOs. As always, Maggie was informative and lovely.
Dr Tilo Klinger has stepped down as one of the SOTs at NWRH. Tilo has been a longstanding SOT and colleague who has made an important contribution to NWRH including his support of trainees through accreditation challenges. He will continue to be involved with ANZCA through his work as a specialist international medical graduate workplace-based assessor. We wish him all the best and many happy hours walking his gorgeous dogs. Thank you Tilo!
Dr Matt Piercy has recently been approved as NWRH SOT to support Greg Bulman. Welcome Matt!


Last updated 13:30 5.08.2022