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RCEM & ACEM joint statement on COVID-19

 8 April 2020

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) stand with emergency medicine colleagues across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as we continue to confront the global pandemic of COVID-19.

As emergency clinicians at the frontline of the acute healthcare response in our respective nations, our Fellows, members and trainees have crucial roles to play in this public health crisis.

We acknowledge the significant and vital personal and professional contribution of all frontline healthcare workers in responding to this pandemic; the doctors, the advanced clinical practitioners, the physician associates, the nurses, the paramedics, the general practitioners, other medical specialists, aged care facility staff and allied health professionals.

In the spirit of cooperation and collaboration between our three nations and two organisations, we acknowledge the members and Fellows of each College currently working in their non-home countries, and who may be a long way from family and friends at this difficult time.

To all staff at the frontline we offer our support and thanks at what are extraordinary, fast-moving and uncertain times.

Clearly there are many areas of mutual interest between our two Colleges, and as we continue building on our strong relationship we are committed to working closely together as we develop and share guidelines, resources and expertise as our experiences of, and with, COVID-19 evolve.

At the heart of this work and collaboration is a mutual interest in protecting and supporting healthcare workers at the frontline and providing clinical guidance as well as promoting wellness through sensible rostering practices, and including kindness and compassion. We are rapidly developing arrangements to support doctors in training, recognising that the pandemic brings real change to how we deliver services, has dislocated our examination timetables and impacts greatly on structured training pathways. We are exploring options to give greater flexibility to help all trainees and are particularly cognisant of those who expect to complete significant milestones in their training in 2020.

The need for ongoing and robust planning and responses will also remain key as the situation evolves, and our two Colleges will continue to have much to learn from each other and share across our three nations.

There is no question that the weeks and months ahead will continue to present many challenges and tribulations. Through ongoing collaboration and sharing of expertise, we give ourselves the best possible chance of getting through.

Kia kaha – the Maori phrase for “be strong”

Dr Katherine Henderson
The Royal College of Emergency MedicineRCEM COVID-19 resources
RCEM elearning COVID-19 resources
Dr John Bonning
Australasian College for Emergency MedicineACEM COVID-19 resources
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