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8.7.4 Interaction between treatment and rehabilitation

Last amended: 21 March 2013

The definition of a rehabilitation program in section 41(1) of the MRCA includes references to treatment provided for in section 13.  Specifically a rehabilitation program is defined as a program that consists of or includes any one or more of the following:

  • medical, dental, psychiatric and hospital services (whether on an in-patient or outpatient basis);
  • physical training and exercise;
  • physiotherapy;
  • occupational therapy;
  • vocational assessment and rehabilitation
  • counselling;
  • psycho-social training.

This definition provides for a person to receive the management, coordination and support they need to pursue the treatment they reasonably require to restore their physical and/or mental health.  However treatment should always be provided via the mechanisms and rules contained in Chapter 6 of the MRCA.

Delegates may also consider the nature of any treatment modality and consider whether this would more appropriately be provided in conjunction with a rehabilitation program provided in accordance with Chapter 3 of the MRCA, as a once-off rehabilitative measure.  For example, if there is an assessed need and the client is already participating in a rehabilitation program, then the merits of the gymnasium-pool membership program could be considered as part of that rehabilitation program.

A physical rehabilitation program could consist of any one of more of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, gym work, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, home based exercise and stress management where appropriate. Delegates needs to be aware that different approval processes may apply for different injury management approaches. For example, core allied health treatments such as physiotherapy in the initial care phase do not need prior approval for treatment.

In those cases where we receive a request for a gymnasium-pool membership delegates should consider providing a time limited program with the goal of assisting a client to self manage in the longer term.

The current policy guidelines regarding gymnasium-pool membership can be found in chapter 5.4 of the Rehabilitation Guide. These principles apply to all SRCA clients and those MRCA clients who do not have a Repatriation Health Card. They also apply to those clients on a medical, vocational or psychosocial rehabilitation program who are requesting a gymnasium-pool membership as part of their existing rehabilitation program. These policy guidelines must be considered and applied when a request for a gymnasium-pool membership is received.

Please note that as a general rule medical treatment should not be provided under Chapter 3 of the MRCA.