Latest News – February 2014

2014 has started with a rush. We have finally received confirmation of a meeting with the Department of Mental Health, and will be meeting with a senior advisor in late February. This will be an important meeting and should give us an overall picture of where we are in the scheme of things.

Members should have received an email outlining ACA’s acceptance as an appropriate member association allowing its members to apply for a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Individual (HPI-I) for the allied health provider. http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/health-identifier/index.jsp.

Although being able to register for a Healthcare Provider Identifier may not lead to direct financial benefits, it may lead to referrals, and recognition through Medicare of ACA as a peak body is a significant move forward. This is the first time we have received such recognition from the Department and certainly now puts us on the radar. I encourage members to go through the process of registering, even if it is to simply raise our profile as it also supports eHealth.

Another great piece of news is the 2015 Asia Pacific conference that is being sponsored by ACA and hosted by our Western Australian member association PCAWA in Perth, is now ready to take abstracts http://www.apricpc.com/. Again, I encourage members to register to present a workshop or paper. This conference will be well attended by not only Australian therapists but by many Asian and other overseas therapists.

I am sure you are all now aware of the $200 voucher that is being made available to couples for relationship counselling as of 1st of July. I have contacted the Ministers (Kevin Andrew) office to learn more about the details and roll out of the scheme, however, apparently this information is still being formulated. I have requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss the details of the policy and to ensure that any policy includes counsellors.

I will report on the outcome of my first political meeting for 2014 in next month’s Ezine. Although I will not be meeting with the Minister himself (apparently he does exist), I will be meeting with his senior adviser. I hope to come away with a better understanding of where we as a profession stand post-election as it seems the pre-election rhetoric has not come to fruition.

Until next month,

Philip Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer.