RANZCOG NZ Pānui - 26 February 2021


Welcome to the first Pānui for 2021. We may only be 2 months into the year but a lot is happening within the O&G sector and many of you are involved. The first round of committee meetings for the year are being held next week.

Since late last year Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku has provided feedback on:
  • Ministry of Health consultation on Informing development of a data and information strategy for health and disability
  • Interim Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s consultation on He Ara Āwhina service-level monitoring framework.
  • Standards New Zealand consultation on Health and disability services standard
  • Ministry of Health consultation on a draft mesh credentialing framework
Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku has nominated Sue Belgrave, Rachael McConnell, Angela Beard and Kara Okesene-Gafa to be on the steering group for the Maternity Guidelines Review Steering Group project which will take place over the coming 18 months.

New Zealand office staff, Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku and He Hono Wāhine are dedicated to promoting equitable access for all women to health services in New Zealand.  We advocate on your behalf to get the best possible outcomes for excellence in women’s health. Contact the NZ office at any time.  

HQSC news

PMMRC report released

Report: https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/publications-and-resources/publication/4210/   
Media release: https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/news-and-events/news/4230/
PMMRC Chair Dr John Tait in the news: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783765/new-report-into-deaths-of-kiwi-mums-and-babies 
RANZCOG media statement supporting PMMRC Report: https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/ranzcog-backs-call-for-action-to-reduce-inequitabl

Call for nomination to MMRWG

The PMMRC is seeking an obstetric physician to join the Maternal Mortality Review Working Group. For further information see: https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/news-and-events/news/4233/

Australasian Institute of Clinical Governance NZ facilitator faculty expression of interest – deadline extended

Expressions of interest are open for individuals to join the Australasian Institute of Clinical Governance (AICG) New Zealand facilitator faculty. The deadline has been extended to Monday 1 March 2021. See https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/building-leadership-and-capability/news-and-events/news/4205/.

Adverse events learning programme now online

HQSC advise their adverse events learning review workshops are now delivered online. The workshops are relevant to all health sector staff who undertake reviews on adverse events and would like to understand the essential components of a high-quality review. See the HQSC website for more information on the workshops.

HQSC national summary of adverse events data 2019-2020

The HQSC annual summary of adverse events data from 2019/20 is available on the HQSC website.

Atlas of Healthcare Variation : Contraceptive use by women

This HQSC Atlas of Healthcare Variation is based on the principle that all available contraceptive choices should be obtainable by all women who need them in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ministry of Health news

Invitation to participate in End of Life Choice Act Workforce Survey

The End of Life Choice Act 2019 comes into force on 7 November 2021. The Ministry of Health has further information on their website at www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-system/end-life-choice-act.  A workforce has been established, working closely with the health and disability sector, to manage the implementation and oversight of the End of Life Choice Act 2019.
A short survey has been designed to get an early indication of workforce knowledge, understanding and attitudes towards the Act. The survey can be accessed at this link: https://consult.health.govt.nz/regulatory-assurance/5b8bd6c8. The survey closes on 28 February.

Any questions regarding the survey or the implementation of the Act can be directed to eolc@health.govt.nz

National Breastfeeding Strategy for New Zealand Aotearoa | Rautaki Whakamana Whāngote

The Ministry of Health have published late last year the National Breastfeeding Strategy for New Zealand Aotearoa | Rautaki Whakamana Whāngote. Queries can be directed to Abby Hewitt at abby.hewitt@health.govt.nz.

COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Women

The Ministry of Health has now added information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines to its Immunisation Handbook 2020. See https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/immunisation-handbook-2020/5-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.  See also the RANZCOG statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women.
The sections on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding in the Immunisation Handbook 2020 are: 5.5.5. Breastfeeding and 5.6.2 Precautions Pregnancy.

Immunisation Handbook 2020 corrections

The Ministry of Health advise that all online versions of the Immunisation Handbook 2020 have had corrections made to Section 8.4.2 Effectiveness of birth dose given to babies born to HBsAg positive mothers and Appendix 9. Any queries to immunisation@health.govt.nz.  

Reminder: National Sepsis Action Plan consultation

The Sepsis Trust with input from the sector has created a National Sepsis Action Plan. The plan aims to reduce preventable deaths as a result of sepsis and proposes the establishment of a National Sepsis Network. The plan is open for consultation until March 2021. See the Sepsis Trust website for further information.

Abstracts due: 2021 NZ Annual Scientific Meeting 

Note the submission deadline date of Monday 15 March 2021 for abstract submissions for the 2021 NZ ASM, He Kakari Taurite mo te Oranga Wāhine │Campaigning for Equity in Women’s Health. The NZ ASM is being held at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 June 2021. See https://www.nzasm.org.nz/ for further information.

Reminder: GAP Webinar 16 March 2021

Register for the next RANZCOG NZ Webinar on 16 March 2021 and get your questions answered on The Growth Assessment Programme (GAP) and management of Small for Gestational Age (SGA) babies. Presenters for this webinar are Professor Lesley McCowan and Dr Joyce Cowan. To find out more and to register go to https://ranzcog.eventsair.com/ranzcog-webinar-nz/.

PROMPT Aotearoa NZ Train the Trainer Courses in 2021

The PROMPT Aotearoa NZ team has confirmed that there will be a Train the Trainers course for South Island units in Christchurch on 25-26 March and an Auckland Train the Trainers course for North Island units on 20-21 May. Any individual specialists or senior trainees interested in attending or learning more should contact martinsowter@xtra.co.nz or via the website at www.promptnz.org for more information on the course.

Applications due: Mercia Barnes Trust 2021 funding round  

Applications to the Mercia Barnes Trust 2021 close 5pm Friday 5 March 2021. See the RANZCOG website for further information or contact the RANZCOG NZ office at ranzcog@ranzcog.org.nz. If you are planning to undertake/ currently undertaking research in women's and reproductive health then take a look at the Mercia Barnes Trust which specifically supports New Zealand research with a focus on supporting young researchers.

Reminder: Excellence in Report Writing and Expert Witness Training workshop 

The next face-to-face RANZCOG hosted workshop on Excellence in Report Writing and Expert Witness Training is on Friday 14 May 2021 in Wellington. 

The workshops are an excellent way for Fellows to learn how to write reports of facts in response to patient complaints, whether they arrive directly or via the HDC.  A well-written factual report can stop many complaints going further, which is kind to patients and colleagues alike. The workshops are also useful for Fellows who write reports giving opinions to the HDC, MCNZ, other DHBs or the ACC.   

If you are interested in attending please email Lynn Gestro at the RANZCOG NZ office. The workshops are facilitated by Claro Law.

2021 MIHI course open for registrations

The 2021 MIHI 501 RANZCOG: Application of the Hui Process and Meihana Model to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists course is open for registrations. The course comprises on-line learning modules (beginning in May), an on-site training seminar (based in Christchurch in August or November) and assessment modules. The course is facilitated by the Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) at the University of Otago. 

The objective of the course is to support health practitioners to feel informed and confident in the development of Hauora Māori competencies, especially focussing on the application of the Hui Process and Meihana Model.  See the Otago University website for more information and to register

Register: RACP Webinar on Indigenous Child Health in Aotearoa NZ and Australia

On 11 March The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) are hosting a webinar, relevant for Aotearoa NZ and trans-Tasman colleges, exploring the key concept and recommendations contained in their recently released RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.  You can register via: https://event.racpevents.edu.au/racp-policy-and-advocacy-webinar-series-2021/registration.

NZ Blood Service update 

Universal Provision of Kell-negative Red Blood Cells for Women of Childbearing Potential (<55 years of age)

The New Zealand Blood Service advise they will be issuing all women below the age of 55 years, who require red cell transfusion, with blood that is confirmed negative for the Kell (K) antigen from 8 March 2021. The protocols to support this process are now in place in blood banks across New Zealand. 

After anti-D and anti-C of the Rh system, anti-K is the other most commonly implicated antibody in severe Haemolytic Disease of the Foetus and Newborn (HDFN). Approximately 90% (or higher in some ethnic groups) of the population lacks the Kell antigen and these individuals are at risk of producing anti-Kell antibodies. Blood transfusion with Kell-positive blood is the commonest cause of clinically significant anti-Kell. Women with anti-Kell antibodies may develop HDFN in a Kell positive foetus which may lead to fetal anaemia, hydrops fetalis or pregnancy loss.

HDC news

New Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Earlier this month the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission took over responsibility for monitoring mental health and addiction services, and advocating for improvements. See www.mhwc.govt.nz

Report on complaints to HDC involving DHBs

HDC’s report and analysis of complaints about DHBs received between January-June 2020 is now available. Lack of access to services was the most commonly complained about primary issue over this period. See https://www.hdc.org.nz/media/5672/complaints-to-hdc-involving-district-health-boards-january-june-2020.pdf  


PHARMAC consultation: Proposed changes to advisory committees

PHARMAC are planning changes to how they work with, and receive advice from, their advisory committees. Feedback about the proposed changes is due 19 March 2021. See the PHARMAC website for further information.

PHARMAC’s 2019/20 Year in Review 

See www.pharmac.govt.nz/yir.

Discontinuation of Adalat nifedipine brand

PHARMAC advise that Bayer is no longer able to supply its Adalat brand of 10 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg nifedipine in New Zealand. PHARMAC has sourced alternative brands of nifedipine 10 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg but advise as these brands are unregistered medicines in New Zealand they must be prescribed in accordance with section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981. The supply of nifedipine long-acting tablet 20 mg (brand name Nyefax Retard) is unaffected.

See the PHARMAC website for more information.

New and updated Cochrane summaries for COVID-19 and O&G


Please see the latest summaries for obstetrics and gynaecology from the Cochrane Library at www.cochranelibrary.com on: Which drug is best for treating excessive bleeding after childbirth?; 
Interventions for leg cramps during pregnancySimulation-based obstetric team training to improve the overall outcome of obstetric health careMetformin in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) for improving fertility.

Research Reviews

Research Review publications are intended for NZ health professionals.  To subscribe for free to receive a research review on a regular basis go to www.researchreview.co.nz.

Diabetes and Obesity Research Review

In issue 141-2021 of Diabetes and Obesity Research Review there is a relevant article on: NZ ethnic inequities in diabetes screening during pregnancy.

ASHM 2020 Conference Review

A review of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) HIV & AIDS and Sexual Health joint virtual conferences, held online during November 2020.  Selected presentations are also available on demand.

SABCS 2020 Virtual Conference Review

Review of the 43rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

Ovarian Cancer Research Review

In issue 13-2020 of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Research Review there are articles on: Residual disease in the peritoneum following neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Weekly paclitaxel elicits a response in relapsed ovarian sex cord-stromal tumours; CA-125 alone is inadequate to detect progression in BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer; Neoadjuvant dose-dense chemotherapy shows superiority in a Japanese cohort; Appendectomy at the time of ovarian cancer staging increases infectious complications; LION-PAW sub-study finds a negative impact of surgery on sexual function; Does a delay between chemotherapy and interval debulking surgery affect survival?; Increased surgical site infections with concurrent bowel procedures and cytoreductive ovarian surgery; A multimodality triage algorithm may improve cytoreductive outcomes; Superior survival achieved with primary debulking compared to interval debulking surgery.

In issue 14-2020 of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Research Review there are articles on:How do international differences in OC treatment impact survival?; Impact of a gynaecologic oncologist-initiated genetic testing program in Canada; Staging in detecting extraovarian occult metastasis in mucinous borderline ovarian tumours;  Provider volume impacts on treatment guideline compliance and survival in elderly patients with OC; Delayed interval debulking surgery offers a survival advantage in select patients; Ultra-radical upfront surgery does not improve survival in EOC; Pembrolizumab plus PLD shows promise for platinum-resistant OC; Real-world efficacy of intraperitoneal chemotherapy in OC; Invasive tubo-OC screening is not enhanced by the addition of HE4 in a postmenopausal population; Comparison of PARP inhibitors as maintenance therapy for platinum-sensitive OC.

Reminder: New Zealand Registry of COVID-19 in Pregnancy 

Notify the registry for any COVID-19 in pregnancy case. Go to:


Upcoming NZ and online events

RANZCOG COVID Vaccine & Pregnancy Webinar

10 March 2021, 8:00pm - 9:00pm, online
Free public webinar. A great forum for consumers to raise any questions they may have around the topic.  

Register online here (use the form to submit any questions).


14th World Congress on Endometriosis WCE2021 

6-10 March 2021, Online
See http://endometriosis.ca/world-congress/wce2021/#1
Scientific programme http://endometriosis.ca/world-congress/wce2021/#2.

RACP webinar: Indigenous Child Health in Aotearoa NZ and Australia

11 March 2021, 6.30pm - 7.30pm, online
The webinar will explore the key concept and recommendations contained in the recently released RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand
Please register via: https://event.racpevents.edu.au/racp-policy-and-advocacy-webinar-series-2021/registration.

Growth Assessment Protocol (GAP) Update 

16 March 2021, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, online
Presented by Professor Lesley McCowan and Joyce Cowan
See: https://ranzcog.eventsair.com/ranzcog-webinar-nz/ for further information.

PROMPT Aotearoa NZ Train the Trainer course 

25 - 26 March 2021, Christchurch 
Contact martinsowter@xtra.co.nz or via the website at www.promptnz.org for more information on the course.

RANZCOG Excellence in Report Writing and Expert Witness Training workshop

14 May 2021, Wellington
Facilitated by Claro Law.
For further information and to register your interest please email Lynn Gestro.

MIHI 501 RANZCOG: Application of the Hui Process and Meihana Model 

Beginning May 2021, Hybrid (online and face-to-face)
Facilitated by the Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) at the University of Otago
See the Otago University website for more information and to register

PROMPT Aotearoa NZ Train the Trainer course 

20-21 May 2021, Auckland
Contact martinsowter@xtra.co.nz or via the website at www.promptnz.org for more information on the course.

RANZCOG NZ Annual Scientific Meeting

21-22 June 2021, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

He Kakari Taurite mo te Oranga Wāhine / Campaigning for Equity in Women's Health

See www.nzasm.org.nz for further information or contact Makiko Wimbush mwimbush@ranzcog.org.nz 


In addition to the following advertised vacancies please see the dedicated RANZCOG Jobs Board for Fellow and trainee employment opportunities. See jobs.ranzcog.edu.au

O&G Registrar

Commencing August 2021

Rotorua Hospital, Lakes DHB

Lakes DHB  have an  O&G Registrar position available from  2 August 2021. We are very keen to hear from Obstetric & Gynaecology Registrars who are looking for a new challenge in an idyllic setting. The post is a RANZCOG recognised Advanced Trainee position, however we would also welcome other applicants.

You will enjoy a high level of support and training from the O&G Consultants and other senior medical staff, and will also have the opportunity to teach SHOs and students. As the  trainee you will undertake directly and indirectly supervised clinics, and attend at least two theatre sessions per week to consolidate experience in major and advanced Gynaecological procedures (including abdominal, vaginal and minimal access surgery), as well as undertaking general ward work.

The after hours on-call component of this role will be aligned to the O&G consultant’s on-call roster with the appropriate consultant support, and on call is one in five nights and week ends.

Your roster is such that you will have plenty of time off to enjoy all that Rotorua has to offer. Beautiful lakes, world class mountain biking trails, mineral pools and loads of outdoor adventure activities are what make Rotorua a fantastic lifestyle choice. Only 1 hour from the most beautiful beaches in NZ and 2.5 hours from the ski slopes.
All applications should include:-
  • Up-to-date CV and completed Lakes DHB online application
  • 3 x referee reports (one of whom must be your most recent supervisor). Reports must be received by the above-stated closing date.  
  • References should be attached to your application.
Unfortunately, incomplete applications cannot be considered 

This is classified as a children's worker role, and is therefore subject to the safety check
requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Any queries, please contact: Carleen Dahya, Medical Staff Recruiter +64 7 3438711 or carleen.dahya@lakesdhb.govt.nz
Dr Simon Ewen, Head of Department, O&G +64 7 348 1199 or simon.ewen@lakesdhb.govt.nz

Sexual and Reproductive Health ATM Melbourne vacancy

Open to advanced RANZCOG trainees.
Vacancy for the Sexual and Reproductive Health ATM 6 months Fellowship from August 2021 to February 2022.
Contact Dr Paddy Moore FRANZCOG at The Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne directly at Paddy.Moore@thewomens.org.au

Staff Contacts

phone +64 04 472 4608

Catherine Cooper
Head of Aotearoa New Zealand Office
ccooper@ranzcog.org.nz or 021 137 0748

Jude Kaveney
Training Advisor, NZ

Makiko Wimbush
Events and SIMG Coordinator, NZ

Lynn Gestro
Communications Coordinator, NZ

Katie McFetridge

Gerry Westhuis

RANZCOG NZ webpage

RANZCOG Covid-19 Information Hub

For advice on local matters, please contact the RANZCOG New Zealand office in the first instance. If you wish to contact the Australian office an 0800 number is available: 0800 170 133
Our mailing address

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
PO Box 10611
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

You are receiving this email because you are a current Fellow, trainee or member of RANZCOG

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