Veterans Affairs sexual and physical abuse claim changes aged care
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has broadened the use of statutory declarations as evidence in compensation claims for incidents of sexual and or physical abuse.
In the absence of contradictory evidence, DVA delegates will accept a credible statutory declaration to establish the fact of abuse in claims related to incidents of physical or sexual abuse of children under 18 at the time of the abuse, when that abuse occurred before 11 April 2011.
Anyone who has served full-time in the ADF can get free treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and alcohol and substance use disorders without having to prove the condition is related to service. VVCS provides immediate free and confidential counselling service for veterans and their families 24/7 on 1800 011 046. Click here for more details
Regional and remote psychological telehealth boost mental health
The federal government announced on 19 April that it will introduce a new Medicare rebate for people living in rural and remote areas. It will allow the bulk of psychological sessions subsidised under the Better Access program to be conducted by telehealth.
Costing $9 million over four years, the initiative will begin on November 1 and will be available for patients living in Modified Monash Model
regions four to seven, with the majority of our region being five.Under the Better Access program, patients can receive 10 Medicare-funded sessions a year with a psychologist. Patients must have a referral from a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician and have a GP mental health treatment plan.
The new funding means seven of the 10 sessions can be conducted by video conferencing, with patients no longer having to travel to larger regional centres or major cities. Click here for more details
$15.2 million for Wangaratta hospital population health
On 21 April $15.2 million was announced for North East Health Wangaratta as part of the $200 million regional health infrastructure fund.
The funding will be used to build a new 12-bed critical care unit, increasing the capacity of the current unit by an extra four beds. The additional beds will support more patients in need of specialist intensive care and life support.
The project will also expand the emergency department and relocate the oncology unit, alongside other works including the construction of a new medical records building.
Planning works start straight away, with construction expected to be completed in mid-2020.
Ian Hickie on PHNs delivering mental health reform mental health
"My own view is that PHN-based mental health reform is the best opportunity we have had in 30 years to deliver real improvements in non-hospital-based and regionally-relevant mental health and suicide prevention services," Professor Ian Hickie said in a recent article.
What is required now is a common commitment across all service and professional organisations to work productively and collaboratively in the interests of those who need care. From a government perspective, new funds need to be invested in strengthening PHN capability and supporting 21st century outcomes-based data collection data that genuinely reflect the experiences of those who use our service systems." Click here to read the full article.