The Society was established in 1981 by practitioners who foresaw the emergence of the specialty of emergency medicine and the future implications for the care of acutely ill patients attending hospital “casualty departments”.
From those beginnings emerged the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, formally incorporated in 1984.
The Society continues to provide a forum for discussion and debate on issues of relevance to emergency medicine.

We are progressively adding to this site, if the information you are after is not on the website, please click here to contact the ASEM office


Bass Coast Regional Health (BCRH)

Part time Director(s) - Emergency Department

WONTHAGGI in beautiful South Gippsland VICTORIA

If you are an experienced Emergency Physician and/or a GP-CMO generalist with proven emergency medicine clinical skills PLUS management experience, and are looking for a sea change, this could be your next job.

BCRH is looking to appoint 2 half time co-DEMs to assume this leadership position in a small sub-regional rural Emergency Department which currently treats about 14,000 patients annually and is ACEM accredited for rural skills registrar training.

The DEM(s) will work a 12 hour clinical shift in BCRH ED as well as 1 non clinical administrative day on consecutive weekdays. A travel allowance as well as overnight accommodation assistance will be provided to the successful DEM(s).

So why not take this opportunity to work at Wonthaggi Hospital in the beautiful Bass Coast area of South Gippsland. Close to Phillip Island and Wilsons Prom with beautiful beaches in between. Surfing, diving, fishing and all other forms of water sport and only 90 mins from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs.
Great lifestyle, friendly department

For more details about the DEM job, please feel to contact Dr Rick Lowen on 0418327133

A position description is available on request to Ms Pat Grasby email:$Q$ to whom applications should be sent prior to 5pm Friday April 25th

>> See all Employment/Interesting Jobs



In view of the increasingly intransigent position of Minister Springborg and the lack of any progress in resolving critical issues, the Queensland Health System, in particular its Emergency services provided by dedicated Emergency Consultants and trainees are threatened. It is clear that the majority of SMOs are reconsidering their employment options.

Do not believe mass resignations can be countered with attracting staff from other States or NZ. Physicians there have become increasingly aware that the contracts are not to be trusted and a sinking ship does not attract a new crew.

ASEM reiterates our employment warning: we advise against taking up any position within Queensland Health at this stage, nor in the future until the legislation has been rescinded.

ASEM is continuing to play an active role in the campaign and working with ASMOFQ, AMA and Together to fund the next stage.

Your representatives have been working long hours pro bono to protect you from an unsignable contract. Please read their feedback carefully and consider the implications for you, your ED colleagues and departments and the patient care that will be adversely impacted if QH is successful.

The Society and it's Council have seen similar issues in 1984/5 in NSW and SA more recently.
We believe this campaign will be successful as political pressures on the Minister will become overwhelming.

Resist for the future of emergency medicine in Queensland, its training program and research facilities and maintaining the best clinical practice for all, irrespective of their financial background.

Dr M Berkhout
Chair IR subcommittee.

For Instant/Important Updates Follow Twitter: @marcelfberkhout

For 'Keep Our Doctors' Resource kit please click here

Joint ASA, ANZICS and ASEM Response to QLD Government


Please find below a joint response from ASA, ANZICS and ASEM to the QLD Government regarding the current SMO and VMO contracts dispute:

Response to QLD Gov

Cairns health staff protest against doctor contracts

Published ABC News 26th Feb 2014, Kirsty Nancarrow.

What you can do right now to fight contracts

ASEM has been closely involved with the efforts of EM doctors in Queensland to oppose the draconian legislation aimed at SMO's in Queensland's Public Hospitals.
The IR subcommittee, headed by Dr Marcel Berkhout, endorses this letter and urges all affected medical staff to print and sign this letter immediately and fax/scan/mail it to their local MP.

Want to make a change?

Please consider signing the petition below and circulating to anybody you know who might have concerns about the effect of the current governments plans for the public health system in QLD.

Petition Link:
"Queensland Government: Keep Queensland's Public Hospitals Strong"

Media Links

Posted 27/02/2014 on WordPress page Hippocrates in the ED
It can’t be right!
Just a humble emergency department SMO in Queensland getting screwed by the government.
It can't be right!

Published Courier Mail 18th Feb 2014
Queensland doctors threaten mass walkout of public hospital sytem:

Published ABC News 24th Feb 2014
Redcliffe by-election: New MP Yvette D'Ath says Labor win proves voters 'angry' with Campbell Newman:

Published in the Courier Mail 23rd Feb 2014
Medical specialists unhappy with proposed new contracts threaten Newman Government with mass resignations:

Published in the Courier Mail 22nd Feb 2014
Labor's Yvette D'Ath wins Redcliffe by-election as Campbell Newman blames Scott Driscoll:

Published Brisbane Times 20th March 2014
Doctors Reject Amended Contracts

Published 19th March 2014, YouTube Aus
(Published on the ASEM website on behalf of Dr Marcel Berkhout, Chair IR Committee, ASEM

Published Brisbane Times 8th April 2014
Doctors Contracts: Government Agrees to Changes

Published Beat Medical Recruitment
Why we won't provide backfill labour to QLD Health

Released 8th April 2014

Pineapple Meeting Postponed, your hard work got us here

As you may have heard, the Director-General and the Minister promised changes to the contracts today.

The Director-General met with the Keep Our Doctors task force last night to inform us of the decision, while at the very same time the Health Minister was talking about it live on radio.

Congratulations. It’s because of your dedication to the people of Queensland that we’ve got to this point. This has only come about because doctors have stayed united as part of the Keep Our Doctors campaign.

But we can’t get too excited just yet. We haven’t seen the detail.

The Government told us they would send through updated documents today, and they just have. But we cannot rush this – our patients are relying on us to get this right.

We need to take the time to thoroughly go through the documents, get legal advice, and sit down with the Government to discuss the finer details. At first glance there still seems to be some areas that need further work.

For that reason the Pineapple meeting has been postponed by a week. The new date is Wednesday 16 April

We have given the Government a week to sit down with us and discuss the details in order to get an offer that puts the needs of our patients ahead of the needs of bureaucrats. By next week we will be in a position to discuss the details of the negotiations with the Government and provide a well-informed view on the contracts.

We cannot rush this. Queensland’s health system is too important. We’ve seen what’s happened in the past when the Government has rushed things.

All we know right now is that the Minister and the Director-General have suggested that they will roll the amended addendum into the contract document; take the word ‘profitability’ out of the contract clauses; make the dispute resolution process clearer; and change the make-up of the ‘contracts advisory committee’.

The fact that there has been movement is a positive step, however we remain very cautiously optimistic.

The only thing that is clear at the moment is that your commitment to the campaign is working and that the people of Queensland are behind you.

We are hopeful we will be able to sit down with the Government over the coming days to discuss the detail and work out how we can reach an agreement that puts the needs of the people of Queensland first.

We will keep you updated as soon as information comes to hand. Further details about the Pineapple meeting on 16 April will be circulated shortly.

Thank you.

The Keep Our Doctors campaign team

Released 7th April 2014

Endorsed by Dr Marcel Berkhout, Chair IR Committee, Immediate Past President ASEM

Tired of talking about contracts? Tired of reading emails about contracts? Tired of thinking about contracts?

This is what the Government has intended for us all along. To wear us down, give us a few crumbs over the last six months but nothing truly meaningful. It is all part of their strategy, in the hope that we will give up now, even when we are doing so well. But we have continually defied their expectations of us - so let's keep it that way!

Professional negotiators always use all of the allotted time, right down to the deadline - we are dealing with highly skilled negotiators who intend to take this to the very last minute.

The majority of negotiations proceed very slowly, right until the very end when a lot gets resolved very quickly. It is natural to tire, but it is the side that maintains their focus, solidarity and resolve right to the very end, who will prevail.

We are all feeling fatigued and now some of us thinking that maybe the contract addendum (the 2nd one) and the legislative change is not so bad after all. At least 3 separate legal opinions state that the contract/addendum is still fundamentally flawed. There are still significant holes through which the Government can weasel out of. For more details, please go to

Most people would have seen the full-page ad and the article in the Courier-Mail today about mass resignations. This is a serious step and is a decision which has not been taken lightly by any of the senior doctors involved - but it seems like the only way to get the Government to come back and negotiate in good faith for the first time in this whole process. Many attempts have been made in the past few days to organise a meeting with the D-G, Health Minister and Premier, but these have all been declined.

No senior doctor wants to leave their patients, but the world will not end next week if mass resignations are submitted - the Government will have 3 months to sort this thing out properly. Remember, they had many opportunities to do this since December, but they refused to and dismissed all our claims, until finally admitting that there were serious problems in March. So the claim that they have done "all that they can" is a complete lie. It is sad that things have come to this, but it is important to think unemotionally about what is the next step to achieve the outcome we seek.

The ability to change the system from within will be impossible once doctors sign these contracts. The power will lie with administrators and managers, and the malignant health bureaucracy will drive our public health system towards the epic failures of the NHS and Mid-Staffordshire. If you ask any doctor who has spent time in the NHS, the exact same thing that happened there is happening here right now. We now have ex-NHS administrators in powerful positions in Queensland Health! The system that we have rebuilt from scratch is now at extreme risk, again.

This is the real intent of the contracts - forget the A-G report and the alleged rorters. We have already been witnessed or been subject to poor management decisions within our own hospitals - there has been no accountability for these costly mistakes, and now our ability to speak out against future management failures and advocate for our patients will be totally destroyed. According to the AMA Code of Ethics: "Refrain from entering into any contract with a colleague or organisation which may conflict with professional integrity, clinical independence or your primary obligation to the patient."

These contracts are simply wrong, and no one wants to sign them. The legislation is wrong. The process, along with the bullying and intimidation, is wrong. If you do not sign and stay on MOCA3, you will be forced on to these contracts by a health employment directive on 1st July 2015 - there is simply no escaping them!

We cannot let our responsibility to our patients be manipulated by the Government to force us to sign a contract where we lose any ability to advocate for these same patients.

See you at the Convention Centre for the Last Pineapple - 9th April @ 7pm. All senior doctors and registrars welcome.
Webcast -

Stay strong, stay positive, stay together.

Released 5th April 2014

It has been an intense six weeks since the first Pineapple meeting and so much has happened. We can feel the weariness from battle, but with our combined efforts, we have come a long way from where we were in February. This weekend is a good time to restore our strength and energy, and steel ourselves for the upcoming final Pineapple on 9th April at 7pm, Brisbane Convention Centre. No doubt, with school holidays and general malaise, it would be easy to pass on this meeting, but we implore you to make the effort to attend for one last time.

This meeting will be very serious and will discuss the solutions that are being proposed by the taskforce, and also the plan of action going forward if there have been no further negotiations or discussions with the Government by then. This will include making decisions about resignations and also how to advance the campaign.

We all want to get on with our lives and put this dispute behind us, but to accept an inferior solution due to fatigue would be a real tragedy, particularly given our strong position at the moment.

The Government is certainly feeling more pain and weariness than we are, as evidenced by Campbell Newman's discussion with an SMO at the local shops - this email has probably done the full rounds throughout Queensland by now. He expressed a desire to fix things and conceded that locums would be too expensive. The taskforce is committed to sitting down with the Government to work out a fair and reasonable resolution.

Even the Courier-Mail is starting to run out of hate material - today's article mentioned "the State Government is investigating threats against doctors who have signed contracts", and was a small column on page 5. The irony is that the State Government should be investigating itself, because it has been the one that has been menacing and threatening all doctors!

Please visit the for the latest information and updates (particularly on the 2nd addendum & latest D-G letter). There have been major changes to the website, so spend some time exploring the website (while you are relaxing!). Note that this website is maintained by senior doctors who are affiliated with the taskforce, and is not connected to the Government in any way.


If you would like to view media releases and petitions regarding this matter please click here to visit the ASEM Industrial Relations Committee page.


Searching for a Tasmanian and New Zealand Councillor on ASEM Council

Council is looking for interest to fill the positions of Tasmanian and New Zealand ASEM Council representatives. This is an opportunity to become more involved with the Society and an opportunity to have a voice for Council. This involves participation in a teleconference every 6 weeks and an invitation to the Strategic Planning Day, held annually.

Initial enquiries can be made with the current president, Dr Vincent Lambourne
Contact email: $Q$ OR $Q$

On behalf of ASEM Council, we wish to thank Dr Ian Brandon (QLD Council Rep), Dr Peter Arvier (Tasmanian Council Rep), Dr Sandra Rattenbury (NZ Council Rep) and Dr Joe Rotella ( Trainee Rep and Newsletter Editor) for their contribution as Council representatives. Thank You!

Attention All Medical Students!!

Are you a medical student studying in Australia or New Zealand? Are you interested in Emergency Medicine? Then this offer is for you!

ASEM is proud to announce COMPLIMENTARY electronic membership to the Society for any medical student studying in Australia or New Zealand!

To become a Member please click here

Please note: Ensure the box marked ‘Student’ is ticked and then send your form to ASEM, Reply Paid, PO Box 627, Noble Park Vic, 3174 OR email to $Q$

After joining, you will receive free access to the Members Only section of the ASEM website as well as an electronic copy of the ASEM Quarterly Newsletter. In future, ASEM aims to offer a host of student-focused resources including information about training, career options, clinical tips and tricks, and competitions.

ASEM now on Facebook!!

The ASEM Facebook page has been created to allow members and the public to become more involved with ASEM and see what is being accomplished and done about Emergency Medicine around Australia and New Zealand.


Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference

5th - 7th May 2014

The conference will be held at the QT Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

The theme of “EARTH; FIRE AND RAIN” will address vast range of subjects including emergency management, public safety, security, community resilience, business continuity, data protection and much more.

The conference is a joint initiative of three 'not-for-profit' organisations - the Australian Institute of Emergency Services, the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association Inc, and the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.


For further information about this event please click here.

>> See all Conferences


New Non Specialist EM qualifications

Multiple learned Colleges, Universities and Professional Associations now offer certificate or diploma qualifications for non specialists working in Emergency Medicine.

Such qualifications may in the future become minimum standard entry points for senior (non specialist EM physician) appointments in Australian Hospitals.

For further information please see Non Specialist Diplomas and Training Schemes Or click here for an array of medical courses available today!

>> See all Non Specialist Diplomas/Training Schemes

Emergency Ultrasound for Rural and Remote Medicine

9th - 11th May 2014

This course will be held at Ultrasound Training Solutions Melbourne, Vic

Are you a rural and remote physician wanting to gain practical proficiency in performing and interpreting ultrasound scans? Have you attended an ultrasound course previously but found it lacking in relevance? Are you struggling to use your machine? Then this is the course for you.

This three day course will give you the ultrasound skills you need to make critical decisions in a rural and remote environment. At the end of this course you will be able to demonstrate proficiency in performing and interpreting ultrasound scans – including AAA, vascular access, FAST, pelvic, and first trimester pregnancy assessment.

Our training philosophy optimises your learning experience with:
• Course development and delivery overseen by consultant rural and remote physicians
• Small class sizes maintaining a 4:1 student:trainer ratio
• A focus on practical skills acquisition with real patient models

**ASEM Members will receive $100 discount at time of booking**

For more information and accreditation details go to:

Contact: Suean Pascoe, Director
Ph: +61 4 2200 0750;
email: $Q$

Comprehensive Trauma Life Support Course (CTLS)

Held Annually in India

Dr Sashi Kumar (ASEM ACT Council Member) is a CTLS International Faculty Member. Below you will find further information regarding the course and about Dr Sashi Kumar and his speech presented at the 2013 CTLS course in India.

The Comprehensive Trauma Life Support (CTLS) Course is an authentic course on Acute Trauma Management being organised in India by International Trauma Care (Indian Chapter). This is the only comprehensive course catering to Critical Care Specialists, Anesthesiologists, Surgeons, Emergency Physicians, Facio maxillary & Dental Surgeons, Physical Thereapists, Trauma Care Nurses & Rehabilitation Specialists.

Further information regarding the CTLS course please click on the link below:

If you would like to view Dr Sashi Kumar's CV and speech on Fluid Resuscitation in Trauma - An Update presented at the recent CTLS course held in March 2013, please click here

>> See all Courses


Below are some links that may be of interest. Please click here to view all.

Australian Emergency Medicine Research Review


This Review features key medical articles from global Emergency Medicine journals with commentary from Professor Anne-Maree Kelly. The Review covers topics such as paediatric emergency medicine, emergency medicine guidelines, wilderness emergency medicine, traumatic injuries, sports injury, head injury, and penetrating trauma.

Research Review publications are free to receive for all Australian health professionals.

If you would like further information, or subscribe to receive publications via email please click here

Patient Blood Management Guidelines 2013

Please click on the link below to view the progress update for 2013's Patient Blood Management Guidlines.

National Blood Authority

The National Blood Authority (NBA) is pleased to announce that the Patient Blood Management Guidelines: Module 4 - Critical Care and accompanying Quick Reference Guide are now available and can be downloaded or ordered free of charge from the NBA website.

Emergency ID Spots Australia

Emergency ID is an Australian owned and operated provider of medical jewellery and emergency ID products.
The business was founded by former Police Officer, Nicole Graham, who had seen firsthand the need for vital patient information to be immediately accessible in emergency situations.
At just 34 Nicole experienced a serious heart condition which required open heart surgery and sparked her search for affordable, attractive and potentially lifesaving medical jewellery. After recognising the options were very limited, Nicole established Emergency ID Australia to provide greater product choice, and ultimately peace of mind, for Australians and their families.
People who benefit from medical jewellery and emergency ID include those with an existing medical condition, diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, dementia, children with special needs, those at risk of heart attack or stroke, athletes, those with mental illness or disabilities, and travellers.
Emergency ID has Australia’s largest range of medical ID bracelets, necklaces, key rings, lanyards, wallet cards, stickers and wrist bands. The business has launched an Emergency ID App for Apple and Android smartphones, which displays critical medical and contact details on a phone’s locked screen.
The business has a fast growing fan base with more than 33,000 likers on Facebook, testament to the popularity of its products for people of all ages with a wide range of health and medical needs.
Emergency ID Australia is Ausbuy accredited and Nicole Graham is a Board Member of Ausbuy.

Federal Government Grants for Rural Emergency Medicine Doctors

The Federal Government has recently announced an increase in funding for procedural GPs in rural areas (RRMA 3-7) to access ongoing training and skills maintenance in emergency medicine under the "Strengthening Medicare" Program. This can include travel costs, locum relief and associated expenses. The maximum amount is $2000 per day for 3 days. To be eligible, GPs must provide evidence they providing emergency medicine services to a 24 hour emergency department or similar facility.

Funding is also available for skills maintenance in obstetrics, anaesthetics and surgery.

Further information is available from:

BMJ Learning

Free access to BMJ Learning for all NSW Health Professionals

BMJ Learning is a CPD website which contains hundreds of learning modules covering over 70 specialties and both clinical and non-clinical topics. The online modules are in a range of different formats including audio, video and animations, and are all written by experts. Modules can be paused and restarted at any time, making them a convenient and flexible way for healthcare professionals to keep up-to-date and test their knowledge.

For further information please visit: BMJ Learning

Childhood Fracture Management Project

The Childhood Fracture Management Project is a collaboration between the Victorian specialist paediatric orthopaedic hospitals: The Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s, Western Health and Barwon Health.

Led by the Victorian Paediatric Orthopaedic Network (VPON) and Developed by Emergency Physicians and Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Childhood Fracture Management Project provides all Victorian hospitals with best-practice guidelines and education for identifying and managing paediatric fractures.

To access the Childhood Fracture guidelines resources go to:

Life in the Fast Lane


This Medical Blog was born out of passionate (and usually unresolved) debate pertaining to the elements of eLearning; clinical cases; ECG interpretation; medical education; toxicology; medical history and information sharing strategies in the open source era.

>> See all Links

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Tel: (03) 9701 5675
Fax: (03) 9701 5811
Email: $Q$

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This website was last updated on the 16th of April 2014 by ZarsProductions