Message from College President on COVID-19

As emergency doctors we stand front and centre in the public health response to coronavirus.

In this unprecedented environment our roles are more important than ever, and we must look to ourselves, our colleagues and our healthcare and hospital systems for the strength and support to prevail.

Unquestionably the pressure is significant. Even before this health emergency struck, the systemic issues we have long raised were contributing to the ever-increasing stressors our emergency departments and staff in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand have been contending with.

A pandemic is the last thing anybody needs; but it is here now, and we must, and will, deal with it.

I acknowledge and recognise the tremendous efforts of many of our colleagues, already facing significant additional workloads, pressures, and threats to our physical and mental health and that of our families and staff. We know these will increase before they lessen.

It’s tough, but I encourage you to take heart from the fact we do not have to face this on our own.

Your College has and will continue to call and push for all involved in our healthcare systems – from hospitals, both public and private, to pathology labs and general and private practice – to play their part in addressing this global emergency at our local and national levels.

We will continue to respond, calling for the support you need from governments, your employers and the community. As always, if there is something you need or would like to know, please advise the College and we will do what we can to assist.

ACEM has not been immune to the impact of the evolving situation, and we have had to make some tough decisions as we look to maintain operations as best we can, and continue to support you.

Many of these decisions; such as the need to cancel the 2020.1 Fellowship Written Examination, and the 2020.1 Primary Viva , both scheduled for May, as well as a number of College events; have not been easy to reach, with consequences of a decision to cancel or proceed acknowledged.

These are extraordinary times that call on occasions for decisions that may appear extraordinary, but which are always highly considered and based upon the best information available at the time at which they are made.

We appreciate the significant inconvenience and disappointment they may cause, however factors beyond our control, such as travel, leave and workplace restrictions implemented by numerous employers, as well as rapidly changing official health and travel warnings; have forced us to make considered decisions in order to provide as much certainty as possible regarding future events.

The College’s Executive Leadership Team and I are meeting daily and considering all aspects of College business as

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