Tasmanian Regional Committee newsletter

22 December 2021

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) Chair's update

Our people and our committee

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) 

  • Dr Lia Freestone (Chair)
  • Dr David Alcock (Deputy Chair and Perioperative Officer)
  • Dr Angela Ralph (Education Officer)
  • Dr Jeremy Sutton (TAC Officer)
  • Dr Jack Madden and Dr Shirin Jamshidi (Welfare Officer)
  • Dr Pravin Dahal (Safety and Quality Officer)
  • Dr Bruce Newman (Northern representative)
  • Dr Margo Peart (General member)
  • Dr Sam Walker (New Fellow representative and CME Officer)
  • Associate Professor Deborah Wilson (Ex Officio Council representative)
  • Dr Simon Morphett (ASA representative)
  • Dr Nina Loughman (FPM representative)
  • Dr Brigit Ikin (Trainee Committee Chair and representative)

As we approach the end of the year, the TRC would like to extend its appreciation to all members, co-opted members, and contributors throughout 2021. The committee recognises and thanks outgoing committee members Dr Angela Ralph for longstanding contributions to education and training; and Dr Brigit Ikin for effective and engaged representation of trainees in Tasmania. As always, the TRC is grateful to Janette Papps as the ANZCA Tasmania Regional Coordinator for her hard work, eye for detail and organisation.

If you are interested in joining the committee or contributing in other ways, please contact the chair or any member of the committee.  We welcome all contributions, big or small, and are particularly keen to ensure state-wide representation and participation.
Much of the TRC’s core work is discussed through the updates from the relevant areas, In the chair's report, I would like to highlight the following issues:

General issues

2021 has been another active year for the TRC. Covid-19 continues to be a demanding issue with constantly moving goal posts. The TRC is focussed on assisting fellows and trainees to navigate the changes and challenges of the pandemic and work towards a new normal of Covid-19. There are also strong foci of committee work on pain medicine; STP advocacy; training and trainees; locally delivered, accessible, high-quality CME; and collaboration with fellow professional organisations, binational colleagues, and local health systems.


With Tasmanian borders opening on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, anaesthesia and health care faces another significant change and the loss of our relatively covid-free status. Many of us are nervous and the demand on our health system and consequences for our clinicians and patients is yet to be seen. Despite an early lack of communication in some regions, there has been substantial preparation throughout the health system and clinicians are becoming familiar with the new plans and processes.
Major issues for anaesthetists include timely and comprehensive knowledge of clinical practice implications; PPE with appropriate fit testing, reliable access, and safe practices; exposure risks, especially with aerosol-generating procedures; changes to work including redeployment, especially for trainees utilised in ICU settings; challenges of working across multiple sites; likely significant changes to normal elective work; and wellbeing including the work-home interface. The TRC recognises the challenges COVID-19 poses with workplace stress and anxiety, potential risk and discomfort and urges everyone to seek support as needed.
The TRC acknowledges the leadership and hard work of anaesthetists throughout the state in the development of our COVID-19 responses and practices. We are all safer due to your dedication and expertise. Thank you.
Please contact the TRC is there are any issues you wish to raise about COVID-19. We support and advocate for safe and best practice for fellows and trainees of ANZCA as the changes and challenges of the pandemic develop.
Stay safe.


The STP review and renegotiation of STP funding for Tasmania has been extended until 2022 and remains an ongoing priority. Work and consultation with existing stakeholders have already commenced with a view to maintaining existing funding and negotiating new funding opportunities to both train anaesthetists and support training more broadly throughout Tasmania. The TRC continues to work strongly with ANZCA staff and thanks the STP team for their ongoing efforts and clarity. Please contact the TRC if you have any comments or suggestions.

Save the Date

Don’t forget to save the date for next year’s winter meeting to be held on Saturday 20 August 2022 at Josef Chromy Winery. Planning is well underway and another great meeting is expected.

Christmas wishes

The TRC wishes all fellows and trainees of ANZCA a peaceful and joyous Christmas period. We also wish our colleagues inside and outside theatre safe and happy times. For those who are working, thank you and stay safe!

Tasmanian Trainee Day and combined ASM 2022

Get in quick, before our limited spaces sell out. Buy your Tasmainan ACE annual scientific meeting ticket here.
After two years of online conferences and cancelled interstate travel, it’s time to meet up with your Tasmanian colleagues! Come along to the Tasmanian ACE ASM on 26 and 27 February 2022 and lock in your CPD points now!  Enjoy the views of the harbour at our social function at Aloft, refresh your airway, regional and ALS skills at our workshops, and hear about the latest in perioperative, pain and airway management!  This meeting will be a fantastic opportunity to meet up with your state-wide colleagues, hear about the local progress in airway and perioperative management and share your experiences as we re-enter COVID times. 
Reminder: this meeting may be one of limited opportunities for 2022 to fulfil your CPD points prior to predicted community COVID spread! Refunds are available for border closures and COVID travel restrictions. 

By Dr Stephanie Cruice and Dr Jana Vitesnikova


2021 was another strong year for ANZCA training in Tasmania. Despite continued COVID challenges, all exams went ahead and the pass rates for both fellowship and primary exams was very high. Thank you to all those that assisted trainees with exam preparation and congratulations to all those successful.
The Tasmanian ASM trainee day was again a success, held in February and convened by Dr Dylan Siejka and Dr Nicola Fracalossi. Other statewide events held were the Introduction to Anaesthesia course, Pain Day and Teaching Trauma Day.
Supervisors of Training held three meetings for support and education, a highlight being a very useful zoom session with Dr Leona Wilson, DPA SIMG and past ANZCA president. There haven’t been any major changes to training requirements this year however we are anticipating some changes to introductory training and assessment in 2022/2023 as the IT project group finalises its recommendations. Tasmanian trainees have fortunately not had their training affected by COVID to date and we are hopeful that the impact on training from our imminent border opening will be minimal.

By Dr Angela Ralph


2021 has seen the evolution of pain services in Tasmania and 2022 is shaping up to be a year of change and innovation. Due to lack of staff, the state Persistent Pain Service at the Royal Hobart Hospital had its accreditation suspended for 2022. The FPM are working with the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) to assist in the meeting of accreditation requirements. To this end the Dean Dr Michael Vagg and Executive Director Leone English are due to visit Tasmania in December to meet with fellows and the THS executives on 17 December 2021. They will also meet with members of the Tasmanian Pain Management Network with the hope of reinvigorating the groups work on the Tasmanian Pain Strategy. This strategy aims to improve on and streamline co-ordination of existing services and strategies. 
In the acute pain sphere the state now has nursing support in all three major hospitals. The Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) has built on its existing Liaison Pain Service which caters for patients at risk of developing persistent pain to include a complex pain pathway. The pathway triggers a ‘Continuity of Care’ model which allows patients to be reviewed by the same 1 or 2 anaesthetists each day. The pathway also facilitates communication with relevant teams. In addition, a weekly Acute Pain Service multidisciplinary meeting has been established. This has created a community of practice between medical, nursing and allied health staff across acute, chronic and palliative care specialities.
The Opioid Working Party at the RHH continue their work to manage opioid risks for patients while admitted to hospital as well as at discharge. Opioid stewardship is on the agenda for 2022 and will tie in with the transition from the current Tasmanian Real Time Prescription Monitoring System (RTPM) DORA, to a national system.
The opening of state borders also sees the beginnings of face-to-face conferences as we used to know them. The February 2022 Tasmanian ASM program as always, sees a strong pain focus. The 2022 Australian Pain Society ASM will also be held in Hobart on 10-13 April .

By Dr Nina Loughman

TRC Trainee Newsletter Report

2021 has been a successful year for Tasmanian anaesthetic trainees.
This year trainees have continued to demonstrate determination and resilience in their ability to adapt to online learning and the dynamic nature of preparing for and sitting exams.
Thankfully locally we have been able to attend multiple fantastic state-wide teaching days including Trainee Day and Pain Teaching Day earlier in the year, and more recently Trauma Day. There has been excellent feedback from all of these learning experiences. Trainees gain a lot from these focused sessions and always enjoy catching up with others across the state during the day and the social evenings that follow. Another fantastic recent event for trainees was the ASA Part 3 Course, a very informative, useful and enjoyable day for the senior trainees looking to transition through provisional fellowship.
Tasmanian trainees have had a strong year in the examinations sphere. We are grateful to the college for their flexibility and commitment to delivering these exams in exceptional circumstances. Further we are proud of trainee efforts to remain focused and determined in their preparation rife with uncertainty and change. We have had six trainees successfully complete the final exam earlier this year with the new medical viva arrangement. More recently we have had two trainees successfully complete the primary exam in Adelaide under hybrid viva conditions. Congratulations to all!
Thank you to all trainees and consultants state-wide who have contributed to the formal teaching programs as well as tutorials, study sessions and viva preparation sessions in their own time. We are incredibly grateful for this robust teaching environment and supportive culture among our Tasmanian anaesthetic community and the Tasmanian anaesthetic training program (TATP). Also we must acknowledge the ASA ran viva preparation program online throughout the year, these have also been an invaluable resource for our trainees.
A final highlight for the year of 2021 is the increasing focus amongst our trainee group regarding environmental sustainability. An ever-increasing issue has been recognised on several days facilitated by local trainees or by the TRA2SH group (trainee led research and audit in anaesthesia for sustainability). We look forward to this continuing to be a major focus in 2022.
The Tasmanian Trainee Committee is currently reviewing nominations for the 2022 committee. Thank you to all who have volunteered, it is so important and valuable for us to contribute and be aware of trainee wellbeing and training needs across the state.
Upcoming we are all looking forward to the festive season! We are also ensuring communication regarding training needs is open and ongoing as the first half of 2022 looms.
Finally we look forward to meeting our new committee and our new trainees at the Trainee Day on 25 February followed by the Tasmanian ASM that weekend.


Last updated 10:06 20.12.2021