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Item 319 - Update.

1999 - December

NAPP has tirelessly pursued the removal of item 319 restrictions, on the basis that they were / are discriminatory and unethical.

NAPP remains at the forefront of lobbying to this end. In late 1999, discussions were held with the Federal AMA, who were also keen to review the restrictions for similar reasons - despite the College's stance to leave well enough alone.

The result of those discussions was a request that NAPP provide the AMA with documentation to support the case for review. NAPP was immediately able to provide the AMA with the following :

  • clinical case studies (de-identified) of patients who were / are severely affected by the legislative changes ie: the human face of this legislative fiasco.
  • recent research material attesting to the efficacy of treatments removed by item 319.
  • articles from current journals (notably Australasian Psychiatry) that bear witness to the demand amongst Psychiatrists that item 319 be repealed on the basis that it endangers clinical ethical standards (of the RANZCP) and our patients' welfare.
  • material outlining relevant historical issues surrounding the introduction of item 319.
  • a copy of "She Still Won't Be Right, Mate" - recently published by the Psychiatrist's Working Group (Melb) - which outlines in considerable detail the ongoing, and growing, concern at governmental changes to the delivery of psychiatric services.

NAPP has been vigorously supported in this concerted push by "Like Minds" of Melbourne (Patient advocacy group) who also sent their own detailed submission to the AMA. The AMA is now in no doubt that the issue (and others) is a major concern.

NAPP will keep you informed of developments as they come to hand. In the meantime, renew your membership as soon as possible to allow us to continue to lobby on your behalf ! We cannot do it without you !

Gil Anaf


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© - National Association of Practising Psychiatrists 2004