News & Media

16 March 2020

Update on COVID-19 and College Activities

The College has formed a COVID-19 College Taskforce whose role  is to coordinate a whole-of-College response to the COVID-19 outbreak that effectively mitigates the risk to you, your patients, the College, and College staff. The Taskforce aims to ensure that the College’s response encompasses all key precautions, information and professional support that you and our patients expect. 

The Taskforce members are:

  • Dr Meredith Thomas, Chief Censor Faculty of Clinical Radiology (ex-officio) 
  • Dr Yaw Chin, Chief Censor Faculty of Radiation Oncology (ex-officio) 
  • Adj Clin Prof Stacy Goergen, Chair Safety and Quality Committee FCR 
  • Dr Lisa Sorger, Councillor FCR 
  • Prof Liz Kenny, Councillor FRO 
  • Dr Johann Tang, Councillor FRO 
  • Prof Alan Coulthard, Director nominated by the Board 
  • Dr Sharyn MacDonald, Chair Australian and New Zealand Society of Thoracic Radiology (ANZSTR) and New Zealand representative 
  • Ms Natalia Vukolova, RANZCR CEO (Chair) 
  • Ms Lucy Hutton, RANZCR Senior Media and Communications Officer​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​The Taskforce has met several times this week. The College’s highest priority is to ensure the health and safety of our members, staff and patients. Radiologists and radiation oncologists are a precious health resource and will be critical in fighting the epidemic and supporting the health system. The College will support governments’ containment efforts in minimising the spread and flattening the disease curve over time. The College Board of Directors, on the advice of the College’s COVID-19 Taskforce, have made the difficult decision to defer all College examinations in Series 1, 2020. The risk of candidates acquiring COVID-19 is low, but real and increasing. All College events that cannot be delivered in an online format will be cancelled. 

College members come to the exams and College events from all key health facilities across Australia and New Zealand, and overseas. clinical radiologists and radiation oncologists play a critical role in the health system and the risk of so many of you, and your colleagues, potentially requiring quarantine for at least two weeks would be devastating to vital health services.

The taskforce is also focusing on developing advice on access to personal protective equipment (PPE). Further updates will be provided as this work continues over the coming days.

The Taskforce has reviewed and collated emerging literature and evidence on the role of radiology in COVID-19 detection and management. These resources are available on our website and will continue to be updated regularly. Separate communiques are circulated when new resources are uploaded for your reference. 

I encourage you to continue closely monitoring updates from the Australian and New Zealand Governments and follow the advice of your local Health Departments. 

This is an evolving situation. The College will continue to communicate any significant developments via direct email and through our website.