We have formed the Australian Mental Health Alliance – which consists of RAPS, the Australian Association of Psychologists inc (AAPi) and the Australian Psychologists Facebook Group. On Thursday 5th of December two of the RAPS team along with AAPi representatives travelled to Canberra to meet with the Health Minister.
The Minister is well aware of the history of the internal conflict in Psychology in Australia. He is very sympathetic to us and is solution focused. He is looking for the psychology sector to resolve the significant issues that have arisen in the profession since the introduction of the Two tier Medicare system, and encouraged the whole sector to negotiate a way forward.
Greg Hunt and his advisor were interested to investigate whether the government has power to direct the Psychology Board of Australia to be more representative of the psychology profession. They were very receptive to ideas which provide pathways forward, for example, the possible model similar to the EuroPsy based model of registration and areas of practice (only two) which are identified at the registration as a Psychologist Level. It was clear that the Minister and his advisor believe that the negotiation within the profession must involve both sides of the argument shifting their positions towards each other. It was put to the advisor that those who have promoted psychologists who are clinically endorsed to their current situation have not made any move towards a workable solution for all psychologists and their clients.