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Women's Health Week
 

RANZCOG marked Women's Health Week in September 2020 by exploring the theme of Equity in Women’s Health across Australia and New Zealand: Hearing Unheard Voices.

RANZCOG focused on a number of issues in Women’s Health across, including:

  • Rural and remote Women’s Health
  • Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health
  • Migrant/refugee Women’s Health


Watch RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach’s message below, and read Dr Roach’s message here. Below you can find out more about how we marked this year's Women's Health Week.



An important message about Women's Health Week from RANZCOG on Vimeo.

 

 

​RANZCOG's commitment to women’s health in regional, rural and remote areas


Rural and Remote Women’s Health from RANZCOG on Vimeo.


RANZCOG is committed to ensuring that women living and working in regional, rural and remote Australia and New Zealand receive high quality obstetric and gynaecological healthcare throughout every stage of their lives. The College is working on a number of initiatives to ensure O&G specialists and GP Obstetricians have the skills and support to provide appropriate care.


Workforce Working Groups


Recently, RANZCOG established two Workforce Working Groups, one in Australia and the other in New Zealand, with the aim of improving the distribution of the O&G workforce in both countries. Both working groups will endeavour to analyse the current state and trends of the O&G workforce, including scope of practice, ageing workforce, distribution of workforce, and to address the significant imbalance in workforce supply, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas.


Specialist Training Program (STP)

 

Since 2011, the Australian Commonwealth Government has provided RANZCOG with Specialist Training Program funding to provide support to enable trainees to rotate through an expanded range of settings beyond traditional public teaching hospitals, including private facilities and regional, rural and remote.

Specialist Training Programs aim to have a positive influence on future workforce distribution. RANZCOG is managing a number of programs under the umbrella of STP's, all aimed in improving the workforce distribution through support for specialist trainees as well as for GP Obstetricians.
 

Maternal rural health mapping project

 

The College recently received government funding to undertake research to produce a comprehensive map that documents the geographic coverage and type of maternal  and gynaecological services available across rural, regional and remote Australia, as well as uptake of services by consumers, and barriers to effective service delivery.  

This work will be fundamental for workforce planning to identify current workforce and training gaps and provide targeted recommendations to improve the delivery of maternal health and gynaecological services within regional, rural and remote Australia.
 

Upskilling and mentoring programs

 

The College also is running, and it is working on rolling out a number of online and face-to-face education, communication, upskilling and mentoring programs for our Diplomates, Fellows, Trainees, Supervisors and other members to ensure we provide quality education and build as well as maintain ongoing relationships and support for healthcare professionals that deliver O&G services in regional, rural, and remote areas.

Click here for access to the clinical webinar series for Regional Fellows.
 

Training


RANZCOG works at different stages of training to support and grow the number of specialists in rural, regional, and remote areas.

All applications received for the FRANZCOG training program are assessed for rurality, with points awarded to candidates who have been residents of rural, regional and remote areas for a minimum of three years during secondary school education and have also undertaken minimum two-year stint as a General Practitioner in areas that are MM2 or above.

RANZCOG offer Provincial Integrated Training Program (PITP) positions to candidates who are already based in rural areas, have worked in such areas, or who are interested in pursuing a career in rural and regional areas. There are four PITP positions available in Bendigo, Dubbo, Orange, and Mackay.

FRANZCOG Trainees must complete at least one prospectively approved period of rural training of at least 23 weeks FTE duration as part of their Basic Training.


Regional Fellows

 

Regional Fellows are a group of rural and regional Fellows who come together with an interest in issues that impact on the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology in regional areas. To learn more about the Regional Fellows please check here.
 


RANZCOG Statement on Obstetric and gynaecology services in rural and remote communities in Australia


The following statement was developed and reviewed by the Women’s Health Committee and approved by the RANZCOG Board and Council, with the aim of providing advice on the provision of obstetric and gynaecology services to rural and remote communities in Australia.


RANZCOG Statement on Obstetric and gynaecology services in rural and remote communities in Australia (C-Obs-34)
 


Regional Fellows Facebook Group

 

In August 2019 the Regional Fellows Facebook group was launched to facilitate RANZCOG Regional Fellows and Regional Training Program Trainees to respectfully network and engage with one another.

The Facebook group provides an opportunity to share experiences; discuss interesting cases, difficulties or clinical challenges; and for posting information on events or items of interest. If you would like to join the group please contact the administrator via the Regional Fellows Facebook group page.
 


Looking ahead


Even though RANZCOG has a number of initiatives to improve the O&G services and women’s health in general in regional and rural area, there is still more to be done. RANZCOG has established relationships with both Australian and New Zealand government and would like to continue to work together with both governments to improve the women’s health services and outcomes for women in regional, rural areas in Australian and New Zealand.
 




 

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Health


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health from RANZCOG on Vimeo.


RANZCOG’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women
 
RANZCOG is committed to achieving equity in health across Australia and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have equitable access to high-quality, culturally safe healthcare that meets their needs and achieves health outcomes on par with other Australians. RANZCOG also places high value on creating a work-place that is representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Australian society, and ensuring that the obstetrics and gynaecological workforce in Australia is culturally competent and culturally safe. The College’s RANZCOG 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan includes a focus on promotion and demonstration of cultural diversity and cultural safety.
 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health Committee

 
 The College formally committed to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with the establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health Committee in 2009.

Functions and Responsibilities of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health Committee include:

  • Acts as an advocate for and provides advice to RANZCOG Council with regard to matters relating to the health and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  • Promotes and facilitates culturally acceptable and ethical research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health
  • Supports and develops educational programs and resources for health professionals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health
  • Provides information for RANZCOG constituents on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health
  • Facilitates educational opportunities for RANZCOG Fellows and members as it relates to their care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in both remote and urban areas in Australia
  • Liaises with other medical colleges, societies and professional bodies in matters of common interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health

RANZCOG’S Commitment to Reconciliation


RANZCOG’s Reconciliation Action Plan aims to translate the College’s good intentions into actions, by setting measurable and achievable goals, timelines and responsibilities. The College has previously completed a successful Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, and in 2018 implemented the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan. This Reconciliation Action Plan reflects our intention to create opportunities within the specialty and our organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to provide our Fellows and Trainees with a quality training program, delivered with cultural integrity. The current Innovate RAP focuses on four key areas:

  • Building relationships through communication and advocacy
  • Nurturing respect through education programs for its Fellows, Trainees, and staff members
  • Enhancing employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Ensuring accountability by tracking progress and reporting


RANZCOG is currently in the process of developing its next Reconciliation Action Plan with the help of the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, working closely alongside Reconciliation Australia. Stay tuned for updates on our new Reconciliation Action Plan.

From May 27 to June this year, RANZCOG celebrated Reconciliation Action Week by asking the question ‘What can we do to advance Reconciliation?

Read some responses from our members here:
https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/how-can-we-advance-reconciliation
https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/a-message-from-dr-marilyn-clarke
 


Community engagement


RANZCOG continues to proactively partner with groups within the Indigenous health sector, sharing the latest knowledge and best practice in obstetric and gynaecological issues. This includes working closely alongside the Australian Indigenous Doctors association and other Colleges to implement standards to Growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical specialists.

In May this year, RANZCOG attended the Indigenous Health Education Workshop for Specialist Medical Colleges, co-ordinated by the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education Network.
 


Looking ahead


RANZCOG continues to work on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia and building respectful relationships between the College and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The College is also continuing with its review of the FRANZCOG and DRANZCOG  curricula which includes a focus on relevant sections of training relating to cultural competency and culturally-safe health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and providing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors to have successful careers in obstetrics and gynaecology.
 




 

Māori Health



Māori Women’s Health from RANZCOG on Vimeo.


RANZCOG’s commitment to Māori Health

RANZCOG recognises the special status of Māori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand and is committed to meeting its obligations as Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners.

Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku has a significant focus on equity of health outcomes and the subcommittee, He Hono Wāhine, focusses specifically on providing advice and advocating for the health and welfare of Māori women.

The RANZCOG 2019–2022 Strategic Plan incorporates a focus to promote and demonstrate cultural diversity and cultural safety for Māori.
 

Partnerships


RANZCOG continues to proactively partner with a number of groups within the Māori health sector including Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa – Māori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA), and encourages Fellows, members and trainees to attend appropriate Māori medical events, such as the Te ORA conference.
 


Cultural competency


In New Zealand all FRANZCOG trainees are required to complete the cultural competence module ‘Application of the Hui Process/Meihana Model to Clinical Practice’ This is a comprehensive online and kanohi ki te kanohi workshop course, which has been developed for RANZCOG and is facilitated by the Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI),Otago University, Christchurch. RANZCOG also encourages all Fellows and SIMGs to complete the course, particularly training supervisors.
 


FRANZCOG training


RANZCOG encourages Māori medical students and doctors to consider and O&G specialty. RANZCOG actively supports selection of Māori applicants into the training program by allocating additional points for Māori applicants.

For Māori trainees He Hono Wāhine provides support and tuakana teina. An annual hui fosters relationships between RANZCOG Fellows and trainees. This year medical students and junior doctors considering a future in O&G are being supported to attend the hui, at Ōwhata Marae in Rotorua, to provide an opportunity to engage early.
 




 

Migrant and Refugee Health


Migrant/Refugee Women’s Health from RANZCOG on Vimeo.


​RANZCOG’s commitment to Migrant and Refugee Health

RANZCOG believes that the same standard of health care should be provided to migrant and refugee women as that provided to all women.

Read our position statement.
 

Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership


RANZCOG participates in the Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership. This initiative seeks to consolidate cross-sector knowledge, foster policy and support culturally competent practice. Read more.
 


Memorandum of Understanding with Harmony Alliance


In July 2020, RANZCOG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change. The MoU will see the two organisations collaborate to improve the health literacy of refugee and migrant women.

Harmony Alliance is the national migrant and refugee women’s alliance. The Alliance represents 76 organisational members from across Australia, combining grassroots participation and strong community voices with institutional reach and powerful policy advocacy networks. The Alliance also has individual members.

The MoU will also see the RANZCOG and Harmony Alliance produce co-branded and translated webinars on women’s health across the life course with a particular focus on sexual and reproductive health. This work aligns with one of the focus areas of the Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030. The webinars will be progressively released over the next two years and will be made widely available for use and distribution.


Cultural competency


All FRANZCOG trainees are required to complete a cultural competency module by the end of their second year in training.

The College encourages all Fellows, Members, and Affiliates to embrace and develop cultural competency in their work.

Read RANZCOG’s statement on Cultural Competency
 



 

Introducing the RANZCOG Consumer Network

The RANZCOG Consumer Network is a College initiative that provides opportunities for consumers to contribute to RANZCOG work, and women’s health more broadly. The Consumer Network is comprised of three elements; The RANZCOG Consumer Network Working Group, RANZCOG Committee Consumer Representatives, and The RANZCOG Consumer Network Facebook Group.

> Read more about the RANZCOG Consumer Network

Welcome to the Consumer Network from RANZCOG on Vimeo.

 

More information

For more information, please contact Andre Khoury, Head of Communications:

Email: [email protected]



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