5 March 2012
It notes that while the MBA is considering the extension, and
possible expansion nationwide, of the Victorian Doctors Health
Program (VDHP), other Australian jurisdictions have in place
voluntary services to assist distressed or health impaired doctors
and medical students. The College is advised that these services do
very good work despite their limited resources; and they could be
more involved in preventive measures, early intervention,
rehabilitation and re-entry, education and research, if they
received greater funding.
The College is of the view that the jurisdictions' right to
operate and further develop these services should be respected and
that any new arrangement should not be unnecessarily prescriptive.
While there should be a minimum set of functions that each service
must perform, there appears to be no compelling argument for one,
national service being imposed on the jurisdictions. The College
believes that, like the VDHP, all services should provide support
to medical students as well as doctors.
The College notes recent calls for a national workshop to bring
all stakeholders and interested parties together, with
international experts invited to outline doctors' health programs
already in place in countries such as Canada and the United States.
The College would strongly support such a forum and would be
pleased to participate in it.