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CAA Annual Report : 2010
4 This Group was headed by director, Dr Tony Croke who was assisted by other directors Drs Mark Uren, Simon Floreani, Billy Chow and the CEO. Teleconference meetings have been generally held weekly during the year and every attempt has been made to regularly inform members of issues and actions implemented. During the 2009/2010 year there have been five reports in The Australian Chiropractor magazine, seven submissions to the Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA) and 10 email-blasts to members. Consultation has continued between CAAN and State and Territory Presidents on a regular basis. Every effort has been made to maintain open dialogue with the Chair of the Chiropractic Board of Australia, Dr Phillip Donato. Discussions have been held regarding the Code of Conduct and Guidelines documents and CAAN has participated in a group stakeholder meeting convened by the CBA. The CAAN board has sought independent legal advice in an effort to be informed of the impact the codes and guidelines will have on chiropractors and to assist in reaching decisions regarding a way forward. The dedicated efforts of Dr Tony Croke, in particular, continue. There is now a mandatory requirement for chiropractors to annually complete 12.5 hours formal learning and 12.5 informal learning. Drs Taylor Vagg and Mark Uren are in consultation with the CBA for CAA to become an "authorised body" for the purpose of assessing formal learning activity. A joint CPD committee has been formed under the auspices of the CBA including representatives from that body, the CAA and COCA. These negotiations are continuing. Efforts to have chiropractors removed from the new Federal Health Professional and Support Services Award were in vain. A submission was lodged with the President of the Industrial Relations Commission in June 2009. The Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission handed down its decision on 28 January 2010 supporting the Health Services Union which opposed the removal of chiropractors on the basis that chiropractor employees should "have the same safety net as other health professionals". The Commission said that the creation of modern awards did "not preclude the extension of modern award coverage to new industries or new occupations where the work performed by employees in those industries or occupations is of a similar nature to work that has historically been regulated by awards". It was of the view the occupation of chiropractor "can be regarded as similar in character to those occupations that have been historically covered by award regulation". To assist chiropractors to comply with the new Award, CAAN engaged Peter Frazer of Guild Lawyers to provide a paper "Fundamental Shift in your Employment Responsibilities" as well as a "Questions & Answers" document which were made available to members. Peter has also discussed Enterprise Agreements as an option for members. This activity is still continuing. Towards the close of June 2009 the Private Health Funds were providing some challenges with HCF sending out "Therapy Review Forms" requesting chiropractors to complete them as a means of justifying for HCF its payment of a refund on health services for their members. NIB advised they were developing an on-line service for its members to search and compare ancillary providers by type, location as well as to compare providers by NIB customer rating scores and average service charge rating scores. CAAN is advocating on behalf of chiropractors on both these issues. These are indeed interesting times. In the midst of all the activity the CAAN continues to provide its dedicated services to members. In December 2009 we employed Samantha O'Hare as our Communications and Marketing Manager. Sam has brought a professional approach to our marketing and she has many plans in store for the future public education on chiropractic and overall communication with the members. I congratulate and thank the CAAN staff on their concerted efforts during the year. I invite members to contact me should they wish to discuss any aspects of my report.