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COVID-19: Workforce Capacity

25 March 2020

Updated 14 April 2020

(Please note: This statement was previously titled
COVID-19: Retired and Senior Fellows and Diplomates. The name change and content changed occurred on March 29)


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) acknowledges the risk posed to the community, healthcare workers, and all patients, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under these unprecedented circumstances, health care delivery will be challenged by the reality, or the threat, of sick patients overwhelming our resources.
 
Many Fellows and Diplomates in active clinical practice may find themselves with additional capacity and we encourage you to contact your local public or private hospitals and colleagues and explore opportunities to support service delivery.
 
Recently retired and senior Fellows, and Diplomates of the College, will have seen appeals from the Medical Council of New Zealand and local Australian Health Departments to apply for positions to help the Health authorities respond to, and manage, the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
When considering these positions, we remind all Fellows/Diplomates to balance their desire to help against the potential risks that should be considered. These considerations include:
 
  1. You should contact your Regulatory authority (MCNZ or MBA/AHPRA) to seek advice regarding your registration status, any restrictions or your re-entry to practice.
 
Whether you are applying for a contact or non-contact role.
 
  1. If it is a contact role
 
  1. Do you have the recency and currency to practice for the proposed scope of practice?
  2. What is the status of your personal health? You may be in the higher risk category
  3. Have you had advice from your current, or most recent, Medical Defence Organisation?
  4. Be aware there may be significant differences between arrangements for public versus private practice.
 
The College has guidance on re-entry to practice. This guidance is here. In the current circumstances, this should be discussed with your prospective employer and the Regulatory authorities.
 
Please note that RANZCOG cannot begin a process of reinstatement to FRANZCOG or DRANZCOG until a practitioner is registered with MCNZ or AHPRA/MBA.
 
The College emphasises that no practitioner should be compelled to return to the workforce, or be asked to perform duties beyond their experience, scope of practice or level of comfort. You should give consideration to your own welfare. Members should remember that there are many ways in which they can contribute. Furthermore, consider performing clinical duties under supervision rather than feeling compelled to cover more complex or difficult procedures e.g. instrumental vaginal birth.
 
Please contact the College, consult your MDO and ask the prospective employer for clarification and assurances before you apply.



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