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Unethical new ACC Sensitive Claims Pathway

Unethical new ACC Sensitive Claims Pathway: Does not reflect best practice.
Kyle MacDonald
NZAP Northern Branch Spokesperson on ACC

The Northern Branch of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP) would like to publically state their opposition to the new treatment pathway for sensitive claims clients released on Monday the 19th of October and due for immediate implementation on the 27th of October.

The new pathway claims to be amended to reflect the concerns and feedback of the professional community and continues to insist that the changes are to provide “clients with the most effective treatment possible to enable them to achieve timely return to everyday life…”

ACC has failed to hear the loud and clear voices of protest from the skilled clinicians who provide this treatment and they have chosen to ignore the vociferous protests in the streets of our nation on Monday.

Clients will still be required to see more than one treatment provider before treatment is approved unless they see an “appropriately trained clinician” which excludes counsellors, social workers and many psychotherapists; professions that have competently provided treatment to this vulnerable client group for many years.

The focus on short treatment, limited to sixteen sessions, and a mandatory requirement for a DSM-IV diagnosis of a mental illness remain.

Psychotherapists in the Northern Region believe that the Massey Guidelines have been misrepresented to justify less treatment, despite ongoing claims by ACC and the Minister for ACC, the Hon. Dr Nick Smith that this new pathway is “best practice.” Already many clinicians are withdrawing their services stating that these new guidelines are in breach of their professional code of ethics.


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