Latest Advocacy News


Medicare Better Access (Mental Health) Education

17/01/2023

ESSA CEO Anita Hobson-Powell, was a member of the Stakeholder Engagement Group for the evaluation of the Better Access program. This Group provided evaluation input, advice and feedback to the University of Melbourne who were commissioned to evaluate Better Access and were doing so in two stages via nine inter-related studies. The key recommendation of note was number 4: “Additional psychological therapies could be added to the list of approved therapies, providing that they meet National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Level 1 or 2 evidence standards.” 

In early 2023, the Government will convene a forum to assess the recommendations and provide reform advice on how to improve Better Access. ESSA will respond as appropriate to the opportunities arising from this evaluation. The Evaluation documents are available here.

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Early Years Strategy and Summit  

17/01/2023

The Australian Government is committed to improving the lives of all children in Australia by developing a Commonwealth Early Years Strategy. It will also host a National Early Years Summit on Friday 17 February 2023.  
There will be many opportunities for members to help shape the Strategy through surveys, public submissions, roundtables, local engagement and consultation from January 2023.
Any members interested in supporting ESSA’s work on this Strategy can contact [email protected]

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SIRA makes changes to a draft regulation  

17/01/2023

ESSA lodged a submission expressing concerns about the draft regulations for implementation of the State Insurance and Care Governance Amendment. SIRA listened to feedback about over-reach and removed regulation elements from the draft, adding a section on the need for engagement of professional or accreditation bodies. 

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Allied Health Free Interpreting Services

17/01/2023

The Australian Government Chief Allied Health Officer, Dr Anne-Marie Boxall, ran a webinar to provide information on the Allied Health Free Interpreting Services (FIS) program, how to use an interpreter and how to access the service.

Fact Sheet   Slides   Video Recording


Medicare News

17/01/2023

In late 2022, the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce discussed four recommendations on the future of primary care:    
1. Increasing access to equitable and affordable primary care  
2. Encouraging multidisciplinary care  
3. Modernising primary care through data and digital reform  
4. Supporting organisational and cultural change in the primary care sector  

The Grattan Institute also released a report on strengthening general practice in Medicare. We anticipate this report will form the basis of the Institute’s pre-budget submission. A final report with immediate and future priorities for investment of the $750 million Strengthening Medicare Fund was meant to be provided to the Government by the end of 2022.

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Medibank/AHM Cyber Event Information

31/01/2023

Please be advised that Medibank has commenced contacting via letter or email individual medical specialists and ancillary providers whose data have been impacted by the cybercrime incident in October 2022.    
While the type of provider information accessed during the incident is often available publicly, such as practice address and phone number, Medibank is writing to individual providers impacted and have committed to transparency regarding the details of this crime.  
If you have further questions in relation to the cyber event, please contact Medibank’s Hospital and Provider Advocacy team (HPAT) on 1300 130 460 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEDT).  

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Connect with your Primary Health Network (PHN) to engage in local consultations

31/01/2023

In late 2022, the National PHN Cooperative launched the National PHN Allied Health in Primary Care Engagement Framework which aims to serve as a roadmap for increased and collaborative ways of working. Local PHNs are now looking at developing their own Allied Health Engagement Strategy. Sign up to your local PHN eNews and keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved.

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National Rural and Remote Health Conference

31/01/2023

9th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium 
20 & 21 June 2023, Canberra, ACT 
Call for abstracts: This is an opportunity to make your voice heard and inform others about your findings. The call for abstracts for the Symposium is now open and closes 20 February 2023. Abstracts are invited for a variety of presentation types including 20-minute oral presentations, 15-minute lightning talks, poster presentations and interactive workshops.

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Aged Care Learning Information Solution - ALIS

31/01/2023

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission provides an online platform with engaging content to support people working in the aged care sector to understand their obligations and how to provide high-quality care.  
Recently added modules include SIRS in Home Services, Code of Conduct and Prudential Compliance. 

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Send your feedback on the National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

31/01/2023

The Commission is developing the National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards Guide for Healthcare Services to provide support for healthcare services implementing the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards. It includes practical guidance and examples of evidence that can be used to implement the actions in a way that is appropriate to the healthcare service. 

Public consultation will close 28 February 2023. 

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Mental Health: Evaluation of Better Access Initiative

31/01/2023

The Department of Health (federal) has recently published the Conclusions and recommendations – Evaluation of the Better Access initiative.  
ESSA has been actively representing you on the panel for this evaluation and strongly advocating for issues affecting you. 

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Become an ESSA Advocate

31/01/2023

ESSA strongly advocates for the interests of members. One of the ways ESSA does this is by providing submissions to government and other inquiries and consultation processes.  
These submissions are better when you are involved. If you want to be contacted about any upcoming submissions, join the advocacy network. For more information visit the page on ESSA’s website. 

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