In 2012, the APS expressed significant concerns to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that clinical psychologists were being placed at a competitive advantage by Private Health Insurers who were denying their clients’ claims for services provided by non-clinical AoPE and other generally registered psychologists.
The APS in their submission, prepared by Mr. David Stokes, Mr. Bo Li, and Dr. Leah Collins of the National Office, wrote that:
“What [only recognising clinical psychologists] does is to effectively limit other specialised and general psychologists from providing services to their clients when they are both appropriately trained and, in many cases, have extra training that makes their services more than appropriate.”
They also wrote:
“An even greater concern is that around half of all registered psychologists do not have an area of endorsed practice and still provide sound services to clients with both mental health issues and other health disorders.” This statement is consistent with Reform APS’s position that there is no actual clinical basis upon which to base any such discrimination within the profession.
If this is the case, as we believe it is, why has the APS allowed all other psychologists to remain at a competitive disadvantage since 2012 despite their knowledge of the anticompetitive nature of doing so and its illegitimacy?
After submitting this position to the ACCC, how could the APS then ignore the important issues they themselves raised, by submitting to the Medicare review (August 2018) their 3-tier model, and by continuing with this farce of a Green paper, and 4 tiers, despite the competitive disadvantages it would bring to all other psychologists?
And most importantly, how can the APS fail to act in the best interest of the community now, having recognised in 2012 that the real victim of such discriminative practice was the community, who were disadvantaged by being denied affordable access to the effective services of REGISTERED psychologists.
In their current Green Paper, the APS may state that all psychologists will still be able to provide services to Mild and Moderate tiers and outside of Medicare, but the competitive advantage remains whereby clinical psychologists will continue to be able to offer higher rebates (as they have since 2006). Most importantly, they will be perceived as superior by the community and GPs (due to the higher rebates) – not just qualifications, training and experience.
This green paper CANNOT be adopted in its current form.
Read the full APS submission to the ACCC.
Vote on Green Paper Poll HERE
RAPS is calling on all psychologists to take action. Non-endorsed psychologists still make up the majority of psychologists. Our concern is that there are still too many who are unaware of the threat to their profession and livelihood who continue to support the APS and believe in the rhetoric. It is incumbent on all psychologists to speak up, talk to their colleagues and spread the message. Psychologists cannot rely solely on others to speak for them. Everyone must take individual responsibility and actively join in the fight. As individuals our voice is small but as a united group we have the power to change things. Individual actions include withdrawing membership (financial support) from the APS, joining AAPI, joining RAPS and AP, contributing to blogs, writing to local and federal ministers (we are told that calling is even better) and talking to colleagues and/or other health professionals, including the GPs. We need to communicate to the APS and the government that we are serious and will not take this treatment lying down.
Australian Psychologists Facebook Page
Search Australian Psychologists on Facebook and request to join the group
Australian Association of Psychologists Inc (alternative to APS)