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Important information for OTA members working with DVA clients

OTA members working with veterans and war widows are advised that late yesterday the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs announced a deferral of the new Treatment Cycle Initiative (TCI).

Originally to take effect this coming Monday, 1 July, the TCI has now been postponed until 1 October.

The Minister’s media release can be read here. OTA members are advised to follow the link to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website, where the new arrangements are explained.

As members would be aware, the new treatment cycle is to run for 12 months or 12 sessions, whichever comes first. It also involves new reporting requirements.

OTA and other member associations of Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) wrote to the Minister last week expressing grave concerns about the rushed nature of the TCI’s implementation. OTA CEO, Samantha Hunter, wrote:

Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is extremely concerned by the absence of preparation and guidance provided to the allied health sector to facilitate a successful transition to the TCI for both clients and providers.

To date, providers have not received any guidance from the Department to support implementation of this significant initiative, despite the introduction being only two weeks from now.

We are urgently requesting a delay in the introduction of the TCI, with a revised implementation date of 1 October 2019.

We anticipate this short postponement will allow sufficient time for DVA to work with the peak bodies to develop and disseminate the appropriate guidance for providers to ensure a smooth transition for veterans.

As a result of this correspondence, the Minister met with representatives of AHPA last week and subsequently agreed to the proposed postponement.

At this meeting another, crucially important matter – namely, the unsustainably low rates paid by DVA for services delivered by allied health professionals – was also raised with the Minister. This issue remains our highest priority and members are urged to visit our standalone website at: www.otsforveterans.com.au

The postponement of the TCI is an important advocacy win, and OTA wishes to thank those members who supported and informed the representations we made to the Department and the Minister.

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