APS Medicare Survey…Seriously???

The non-clinical members have been outraged by the Two-Tier system since its inception. I’m not going to repeat the arguments here. As it stands, there are now three groups taking action to have this inequity torn down and a Change.org petition. There’s also the RAPS poll that has grown in responses by at least 100 per day since it was released. I’m given to believe that GetUp! are in the planning stages of another petition. In recent months the APS have done everything in its power to stifle internal discussion of this issue including threats, name calling and intimidation tactics extending to two sitting Directors. And the APS response to the naked fury the majority of APS members hold to the Two-Tier system, “let’s all fill out a survey”. SERIOUSLY??? If you haven’t got it by now….
If you really think filling out the survey is going to do anything other than be a diversionary tactic then go for it. Don’t expect it to achieve anything. Even if the responses all call for the end of the Two-Tier system, the APS can’t do anything about it anyway. The APS has been a staunch supporter of the Two-Tier system. To now say, “oops..we got it wrong” will cost them what little credibility they have left. The current government is not going to give non-clinical psychologists a 47% rebate increase. The RAPS model, referred to in another post as the “soft landing”, offers non-clinical psychologists a modest rebate rise and a significant reduction in the clinical rebate. The clinicals don’t lose everything. Which is what they are looking at now.
I’ve got a better more effective “survey” for you. It’s called..(drum roll).. “survey the Senate, or your local member or all parliamentarians, really”. It’s going to get far more results than the APS medicare survey. Download the contact details from the Parliament website and get writing. My experience is that it’s better to fax to Members than email. Snail mail is also good. You can snail mail to their electorate offices or write c/- Parliament House (unlike the APS we do actually have a responsive and representative democracy). In the time it takes you to fill out the useless APS medicare survey, you’ll get 20+ faxes, letters or emails to politicians. My experience with emails is that it’s a bit hit and miss. Faxes and snail mail usually gets a “received” response if nothing else. Emails in some cases limit you to 500 words at best. This issue is too complex for that.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Senator The Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Senator
A Legitimate Medicare Saving
Research demonstrates that there are no improved outcomes for patients of clinical psychologists versus all other psychologists. Clinical psychologists consist of around 19% of the psychology workforce, yet their rebates take the majority of the Better Access funding. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/australian-psychology-crisismedicare-better-access-jones
Ever since the Two-Tier Medicare Rebate was introduced for psychologists, Australian Taxpayer’s via Medicare Rebates have needlessly been paying 47% more to clinical psychologists for the same psychological services that ALL psychologists provide. There is absolutely no evidence that treatment outcomes provided by clinical psychologists is better than other psychologists. The Two-Tier Medicare Rebate has caused nothing but divisiveness in the profession and has cost, and is continuing to cost, taxpayers millions of dollars for no further benefit. No other Allied Health Profession has a Two-Tier Medicare Rebate and nor should psychologists.
My colleague Mr Harold Hanlon created this petition late last year which now has over 2100 signatures and he will be delivering this to the Prime Minister in very near future.
https://www.change.org/p/malcolm-turnbull-one-medicare-rebate-for-allpsychologists?recruiter=8657723&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebo ok&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-no_msg
My submission is that all psychologists should be paid the same Medicare Rebate and thereby ensuring significant budget savings.