Peak Body For Eating Disorder Practitioners Welcomes Medicare
The Australian New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) as the peak body for eating disorder practitioners has welcomed changes to Medicare that will give sufferers more access to treatment, and looks forward to working with the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) and other sector partners to make sure they are delivered by credentialed practitioners.
ANZAED applauds the November 1 changes that will give patients rebates on up to 60 consultations – 40 for psychological therapy (up from 10), please note that these 40 sessions of evidence-based eating disorder psychological treatment (in a 12 month period) with a suitably trained Clinical Psychologist, Registered Psychologist, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker or Accredited Mental Health Occupational Therapist, or with a General Practitioner who meets the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration requirements and is entered on the Register as being eligible to render a Focused Psychological Strategy service and 20 for dietetic support (up from 5).
“This is an important change for those suffers of anorexia and bulimia, as well as binge eating disorder,” said ANZAED President, Dr. Kim Hurst. “Patients will be able to access the extended evidence based treatment they need to recover.”
Dr Hurst did caution that patients should seek out clinicians who have the necessary experience in these complex conditions. “Given the significant impact of eating disorders on so many Australians, including families and carers, this initiative takes us one step closer to improving their access to the right level of care.”
“Effective treatment requires well-coordinated teams of skilled mental health, dietetic and medical professionals,” Dr Hurst said. “We would encourage people to consult practitioners who are ANZAED members, as having experience and expertise in the treatment of eating disorders.”
Kevin Barrow, CEO of Butterfly Foundation, said that: “This Medicare reform has been designed with input from leading clinicians from a number of disciplines. We are confident that MBS services will be provided by qualified and eligible practitioners with knowledge, skills and experience in providing treatment to patients with eating disorders as ANZAED and other colleagues across Australia in State-based Eating Disorder Training Organisations, are continuing to build capacity across the workforce in Australia to treat eating disorders.”
Eating disorders affect around nine per cent of Australians and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Teenagers are the most common sufferers but people of any age can be affected. The number of boys and men developing anorexia is also rising steadily.
For more information or interviews contact Kim Hurst or Jeremy Freeman at 0491 134 289.