On 1 November 2010 Medicare Australia enacted legislation providing Sports Physicians/medical specialists in the area of Sport and Exercise Medicine access to specialist item numbers with a medical referral. This also allows Sport and Exercise Medicine specialists to order rebatable MRI scans for the appropriate conditions.
Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre was founded 25 years ago in response to the demand for specialist expertise in the management of athletes, sporting injuries and the exercising population. It is a multidisciplinary clinic providing specialist care amongst a group of dedicated practitioners with experience at both elite and community levels of sport. The doctors at OPSMC are all Fellows or Registrars of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians, the organization with approval to train specialists in sports and exercise medicine.
OPSMC remains a major training practice for the College with strong links to research and further education.
We also have consultant specialists providing their expertise to the sporting population in all fields including orthopaedic surgery and we have recently added Australia's first Sports Cardiology service. This is in addition to our physiotherapists, podiatrists, dietician, psychologists, exercise physiologist, soft tissue and massage therapists and Clinical Pilates service.
Specialization occurred after a 20 year campaign for recognition by the Australasian College of Sports Physicians and included the following processes:
- In 2006 the Australian Medical Council completed an assessment for the case of recognition of sport and exercise medicine which was ratified by the then Health minister Tony Abbott in 2007.
- In 2008 the AMC completed its accreditation assessment.
- In 2009, following advice from the AMC, the Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon announced the recognition of the specialty in the list of Australian Recognized Medical Specialties.
- In November 2010 the process was formalized via Medicare.
The Australasian College of Sports Physicians is the professional body representing sports physicians and is approved by the AMC to train specialists in Sport and Exercise Medicine. It operates in a similar way to other specialist colleges.
The granting of specialization will enable a better integration of care for your patients but will have the usual requirements for referrals that other specialists would require in order to receive a rebate for consultation. As a transition we will be able to see patients without referral but they will be eligible for a lesser rebate (non-VR rates).
Dr Andrew Jowett
On behalf of Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre