Communication is key in medicine. It’s critical in my ED and in every doctor-patient interaction but also frequently at the centre of complaints we receive at the Medical Council. Dr Charlotte Hespe highlights in her article (originally published in RACGP) the importance of communication, particularly in a time where we are more reliant on non-face-to-face consults, such as telehealth, to ensure a thorough consultation. Similarly, if we can continue to read our patients’ cues and communicate well with them, then as a profession we will continue to be highly respected, trusted and responsive to the needs of our patients.
In my new role as President, I recognise it is imperative to keep the public safe and doing so with deep respect for our colleagues. There are processes that we are redeveloping to achieve this outcome and to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Medical Council. I talk about this in more detail in my interview included in this edition. I will also continue to drive the need to make our processes more transparent to the profession and in this issue we explore the role of Council Appointed Practitioner (CAP) assessments.
This edition of the newsletter also highlights a number of prescribing issues that have come to the attention of Council, including the requirement to have a NSW Health authority to prescribe drugs of addiction, and changes to prescription opioids. The Ministry of Health has also issued a warning to doctors regarding the misuse of fentanyl patches.
Finally, I would like to genuinely thank outgoing President, Dr Richard Walsh AM for his fantastic leadership, his inclusiveness and wisdom. His extensive experience and commitment to the profession has progressed medical regulation in such a positive way.
Medical Council of NSW