Why Occupational Medicine?
Put most simply, Occupational Medicine is the medical discipline about the interplay between health and work – both the impact of work on health & well-being and the effect of health conditions on capacity to work.
The availability of expertise in occupational medicine is an important factor in the promotion and maintenance of workplace health through development of workplace health strategy, provision of expert technical advice and the training and support for other practitioners working in the field.
There is a good business case for provision of occupational health services.
Society of Occupational Medicine: Executive Summary – Occupational health: the value proposition – 2017
“The evidence demonstrates that there is a rounded business case for investment in occupational health services. Well-integrated and supported workplace health initiatives have been shown to be associated with better employee health status and productivity in the workplace. Research supports the proposition that investments in occupational health add value through reduced costs associated with the prevention of ill health, improved productivity and a range of intangible benefits.”
Occupational Medicine Specialists, known as Occupational & Environmental Physicians (OEP’s) are doctors who have undergone specialist training overseen by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) within the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). OEP’s work closely with General Practitioners and other medical specialists to provide support and advice on workplace health issues. Unlike hospital-based specialists, there are no government-funded training positions for OEP’s. Training in the past was supported by large Tasmanian employers, however those opportunities no longer exist. Tasmania is facing the prospect of insufficient local Occupational Medicine expertise with the imminent retirement of the two remaining OEP’s based in Tasmania.
The principle objective of the Foundation is to develop and assist with funding of a structured comprehensive training system for OEP’s within AFOEM-accredited occupational medicine practices operating in Tasmania.
Relationship between AFOEM & TFOM
While AFOEM sets the curriculum and standards, oversees training and awards Fellowship qualifications to OEP’s (FAFOEM), the Foundation’s main role is to assist Tasmanian trainees cover the associated costs (AFOEM Training & Examination Fees and Tertiary Institution Fees) and provide opportunities for a variety of training experiences relevant to practice in Tasmania. There are also significant costs for the practices involved and the Foundation can assist practices cover relevant costs.
How do I donate?
The Foundation seeks support from individuals, organisations and government through direct donations, sponsorships and scholarships to support trainees and offers of placements to assist trainees develop skills and experience.
You can directly donate any amount or enquire about a range of sponsorship packages by contacting the Foundation secretary by email firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 0419881519.
The Foundation’s TFOM Newsletter provides regular updates about our membership, fundraising activities and use of donated funds.