Multidisciplinary teams: Are we ready?


Addressing the increasing complexity of care is a new challenge in tertiary hospitals. We also all agree that a holistic approach is the standard of care. Multidisciplinary teams have the potential to offer a greater level of expertise with a more diverse approach to work on common goals of care. Healthcare institutions are now embedding multidisciplinary teams in their models of care in different ways. Different institutions in Europe have reinforced the conviction that multidisciplinary teams are driving more integrative care, especially of rare and complex diseases.  In cancer care multidisciplinary teams are the standard of care and now a quality indicator. However multidisciplinary teams are not easy structure to create and maintain and many hurdles are faced. One of them is the way we are all trained to exist as health professionals. We are educated to work in autonomy and we need to question this concept. As an institution we can learn from these experiences and start thinking across disciplines and specialties and train the next generation of healthcare professionals.



Dr Francoise Mechinaud is a Paediatric Oncologist whose main interest is in malignant haematology and stem cell transplant.  She was the Head of a Paediatric Oncology Unit in France including stem cell transplant before joining the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) team at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in 2010.  As Head of a Regional network, Chairman of the French Society of Pediatric Oncology, Member of the French Society of Stem Cell Transplantation, and advisor for the French National Cancer Institute INCa, she has been involved in the organisation of paediatric cancer care and BMT. Francoise has been director of the Melbourne Children’s Cancer Centre since 2012 and is driving some important change in the structure of paediatric cancer care to allow research driven care and comprehensive and family centred care. Francoise recently did a sabbatical, examining models of care in childhood cancer centres throughout Europe.

Professor Lynn Gillam is the Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre at RCH, and Professor of Health Ethics in the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

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