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CEO's report.

Many ATMS members are concerned about the announced Health Fund Review into Complementary Therapies, and the risk of losing the rebate scheme which has been in place for many years. ATMS has enlisted the help of a Melbourne-based company, Staindl Strategic, a Government relations specialist, to assist with our submissions and campaign to stop or reduce the impact of any moves to remove complementary medicine from the rebate scheme.

So far all efforts to find out what is happening have been to no avail. Staindl Strategic has contacted the following:

Michael Armitage, former Health Minister, now the CEO of Private Healthcare Australia (which is the industry association representing the private health funds). To date, there has been no response on this matter;

Minister for Health's Chief of Staff who was trying to get me some further background information before he went on leave last Friday. Sadly, that wasn't received, leaving Staindl Strategic to pursue this through another avenue; and

The Chief Medical Officer, who does not seem to have commenced the review process so far, other than to advise that a review of the Private Health Insurance rebate to cover natural therapy services is to be undertaken. Exactly when this is to occur is not yet known!

At the political level, no one seems to know for certain when and how these changes are to be implemented. With so much confusion and lack of communication it is difficult to respond in any way to these important issues facing the Natural Medicine profession. I can only assure all members that ATMS is ready to respond once we know when submissions will be received. Until then we can only try to gain further information as it comes to hand.

PUBLIC HEALTH REGULATION 2012 (NSW)

Health Report under the Public Health Act 2010 was published 6 July 2012 http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/sessionalview/sessional/sr/2012-311.pdf

Acupuncture practitioners in NSW will find information relevant to carrying out skin penetration procedures, and the premises where such procedures are carried out. As there seems to be a lot of confusion on these matters this Regulation will help considerably.

WEBSITE

ATMS board has decided to go with SocialMediology, who are website designers and developers, to complete the website so it can be finished and displayed to ATMS members at the AGM. Kate vanderVoort from SocialMediology is giving a talk on how Facebook, Blogs and Twitter can engage the profession, media and the community to get our message out on Natural Medicine. Kate will showcase the website for the members and explain how it will bring all our social media platforms into alignment. The website has been coming for a long time, and we are confident that members will be happy with the result.

SUMMIT UPDATE

The full Program for the Summit is now complete, and the diversity and quality of our fine national and international presenters is very exciting. The theme Quality of Life: Healthy Ageing Naturally has been richly embraced by naturopaths, herbalists, homeopaths, specialised bodyworkers, psychotherapists, academics and medical practitioners. These presenters will discuss a variety of topics including palpation and stretching; the effects of ageing and lifestyle on the muscular and nervous systems; spirituality; archetypes; obesity, and wine; Australian bush flower essences; the value of humour and compassion; and Chinese medicine.

There is so much here for absolutely everybody: a wonderful selection of extremely experienced practitioners who have presented at national and international events. Above all there is inspiration and encouragement to share not only knowledge but also heartfelt warmth with our clients. We believe this Summit is a healthy combination of old fashioned human values with contemporary scientific research and information.

We are making a big noise about this event, with good reason. There has been lots of advertising in Nature & Health Magazine, and the IM Gateway website, but also on the ATMS Blog and ATMS Facebook. So there is plenty of opportunity to find out about the program and the presenters. You can visit our Summit website and register online at www.atmssummit.com.au.

Note: paying by instalment is available.

QUALITY ASSURANCE UPDATE

The response to the documents and forms relating to the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Healthcare has been excellent, and we thank all the practitioners who have participated. The discussion and responses have been excellent and very positive. Some valuable suggestions have been put forward.

The August 1 deadline for feedback has passed, so we'll now focus on collating all the new information, and producing a revised Framework document. Some legal/insurance points have been raised relating to the requirements of the Framework, which we need to look at. The most notable is the clause requiring practitioners to accept responsibility when something goes wrong. We'll be seeking advice from the insurance company and from the lawyer on this matter.

Even though the deadline has passed, we'd still love to hear from practitioners who have not yet responded, but who have some suggestions. It's not too late, and the more feedback we obtain, the better the final document will be.
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Author:Hudson, Allan
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:846
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