OT News: Discover What's Happening

Browse the latest OTA updates, industry news and OT developments across Australia.

Quarterly Report April - June 2022

With the closing of the financial year, OTA has prepared a summary of some of the most recent activity in advocacy on behalf of members. This is due to the hard work of the divisional managers and government and stakeholder relations team, supported by our member representative groups and Divisional Councils.

We’ll keep you up to date with a summary every quarter, and more often if there’s big news.

$50M for OTs in schools in South Australia

The South Australian state budget resulted in a number of wins for mental health funding including $50m for 100 new mental health and learning support staff in public schools. OTA has specially lobbied for through a number of channels, and expects OTs in schools to be the front runners for much of this funding.

NDIS news

OTA is building its networks within NDIA to improve communications with the agency, and outcomes for members. Recently, OTA responded to member concerns about a tender that indicated possible changes to the role of Local Area Coordinators in conducting assessments. Following contact with NDIA, OTA was assured that these changes are not taking place. We will watch with interest over the coming months as NDIA proceeds under new leadership.

OTA is currently reviewing the recent NDIS Annual Pricing Review. In summary prices have been maintained however no indexation has been applied to allied health. All allied health providers also now have a separate line item in the Support Catalogue, as opposed to being listed together under ‘other therapies’.

We are working with AHPA on a collective response to this pricing decision, and we will update you further on this as it is developed. We also appreciate the unique and crucial role that OTs play in the NDIS and we will continue to advocate for OTs specifically. We have written to relevant ministers following the federal election and will continue to build on these relationships to ensure that OTs’ voices are heard within the NDIS and more broadly.

Increase in OT fees - WorkCover Queensland Allied Health Table of Costs for FY 22-23

OTA called for fee increases in line with those of the NDIS, travel fees to increase comparable to consultation fees and for better representation of the role of OT in mental health. The fee for a Specific OT consultation has been raised from $189 to $197, travel fee has gone from $134 to $140. However, options for initial consultation – multiple injuries for OT have been removed.

Win for OTs in Tasmanian State Budget

As a result of OTA lobbying of the Tasmanian government, $6M will be invested over 4 years for more OT and physio student placements with the Tasmanian Health Service and Dept. of Education.

OT fee schedule: ReturntoWorkSA

Lobbying by OTA to ReturntoWorkSA (RTWSA) on proposed changes to Occupational Therapy fees has resulted in support to recognise the Provision of treatment for psychological injuries by OTs in the fee schedule.

Member feedback leading to legislative change in Queensland

In 2021, OTA raised with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads issues with the registration requirements for motorised mobility devices (MMD) in Queensland. This was due to member feedback that the registration requirement for the maximum unladen mass of 150kg to complete mandatory registration of an MMD was prohibitive for many users given the increasing weight of modified devices. A bill has now been introduced addressing this and proposing to increase the maximum unladen mass of MMDs to align with the Technical Specifications developed by Standards Australia.

Aged Care and Support at Home

OTA has been involved in the Aged Care Commonwealth Support at Home program development on a number of fronts, including writing to the Department of Health and attending consultation sessions. We will continue to update you on this as this program is developed.

OTs and mental health – Employee Assistance Professional Association Australia

OTA has been lobbying the Employee Assistance Professional Association Australia requesting further recognition of occupational therapists for eligibility for clinical membership of the EAPAA. This is ongoing and we will update you when an outcome is reached.

Demand for OTs

We are in communications with the Department of Home Affairs and the National Skills Commission to highlight the shortage of OTs and to request OTs be included on the Priority Skilled Migration Occupation List.

Recent Hot Topic events

The team has run a number of successful hot topic events over the last few months. Watch this space for upcoming events.

  • Importance of documentation in the assessment and prescription of Assistive Technology: attend by over 460 OTs.
  • Exploring Trauma Informed Practice with an OT lens: in-person event with 40 attendees (ACT).
  • Trauma Informed Practice Principles: 27 attendees (Northern Territory)
  • OTs in Schools: Supporting Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SA). OTA used this opportunity to raise the profile of OTs in this area of practice and the potential for greater growth and influence.


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