Members are cynical about the MBS Expert Committee

Below are some emails RAPS has received with regards to the MBS Expert Committee

I’m very cynical about this.

Why are there 2 clinicals on committee when they only represent only 20% of members.

Why do this now when everyone leaving the APS?

Very cynical.

Why does the APS think they can fix this when they represent ONLY half of registered psychs?

Why don’t they consult RAPS, AAPI and others to show real concern for the future of psychologists?

Why are we not following psychiatrists model? One rebate, many item numbers for specific services  – e.g eating disorders?

And finally, all pathways should be opened up for endorsement.  Even the GPs see this as fair.

It’s only fair that all psychs can specialise if they are prepared  to do the work.

So uni courses need to be available too.
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APS Member and stakeholder MBS consultation SHAM

Members should correctly regard this “consultation” with cynicism and suspicion. It’s a sham and most likely aimed at creating the false impression of member inclusion while being a cover for the goals of the clinical faction. The APS has a history of doing exactly this while abandoning non-clinicals behind closed doors. Nothing has changed and the APS has made no steps forward to addressing the 2 tier medicare rebate, the division this has caused between the clinical and non-clinicals, reversing it’s stand on centrelink reports, Department of veterans affairs reports and the general push by the clinical faction to devalue, denigrate and limit income and employment prospects for non-clinical psychologists. APS CREDIBILITY: NIL!

The current governance practice of the APS contravenes the Corporations Act by imposing a clinical dominated board and limiting voting options to the broader membership. The clinical faction thought they were being very smart ramming this through at an EGM, fiddling the voting process and disallowing a “NO” discussion to cement their control of the APS Board with a perpetual Gerrymander. The very smart clinical faction didn’t stop to consider the ramifications of a governance that stands in breach of the Corporations Act. What that means is that, irrespective of any merit that any APS submission might have, the AAPi, RAPS, Australian Mental Health Alliance or any other body/stakeholder (social workers, mental health nurses etc) can quickly knock down any APS submission by pointing to the governance breach of the Corporations Act. The second knock down point against any APS submission is that it is filtered and approved by a clinical dominated Board and not representative of the general APS membership or wider community. APS CREDIBILITY: NIL!

While on the subject of the Corporations Act, Knight’s recent letter threatening dissenters or those who speak out against the clinical dominated Board, also contravenes that Act. Mirabelli’s recent semi-apologetic video to members regarding the 3 tier debacle underscores the internal ructions and divisions within the APS and lack of consultation with members. The APS has argued that internal emails and communications are for members only. However, government agencies and other providers need to be aware of the pedigree of organisations like the APS that are making policy submissions. Therefore, they have a right to know what’s going on inside the APS and how much credibility they should give to APS submissions. Third knock down point. APS CREDIBILITY: NIL!

The proposed structure of the APS MBS Expert Committee smacks of the same Gerrymander that has ensconced a clinical dominated Board.
APS President Knight. Clinical, who has already threatened dissenters with disciplinary actions.
2 Clinical College representatives. Now 3 clinicals on the committee.
Up to 8 college members. Notably, many clinicals hold dual college memberships. A clinical stack!
1 rural or remote member who may be clinical.
1 Indigenous and Torres Strait member who may be clinical.
Even with 3 DGPP members, this committee is rife for a clinical stack.

Further, will the APS demand committee members to sign a confidentiality deed gagging any disclosure of what the proceedings were? If the APS is true to form, they will. APS CREDIBILITY: NIL!

Some members have posted that the APS should be “flooded” with non-clinical submissions. Others have said that the whole thing should be boycotted. The problem with “flooding” the APS with anything is that they have shredders and delete keys and that’s what will happen to your submissions. If psychologists want to flood anyone it should be the Health Minister, relevant government agencies, the AAPi and the Australian Mental Health Alliance (AMHA).

With the advent of the AMHA, the APS is now irrelevant. Remaining APS members are encouraged to leave the APS and join AAPi. Psychologists are encouraged to boycott APS products and services depriving funds to the clinical faction to be used against us. Psychologists are encouraged to boycott APS advertisers and tell them why – the APS operates in breach of the Corporations Act to the advantage of the clinical faction. Again, depriving funds to the clinical faction to be used against us.
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MBS Expert Committe is non-proportional
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Why do clinical get a proportional higher representation, when all the non-clinical psychologists have outweighed the clinical psychologists by disproportionate numbers?

But of course, that is how the APS have been operating for many years. Clinical psychologists on the Board significantly out number the non-clinical psychologists.

How can the APS claim to stand for all when the clinical psychologists really focus on the benefit applied to them?
And also, the APS has NEVER apologised for the Medicare fiasco from 2006 onwards.

Yet always state we can’t change the past, we have to look forward.
But the past is the present for all non-clinical psychologists, as the higher rebate to clinical psychologists’ clients affects the profession NOW, today, and into the future. The past is the present in the shutting down of most non-clinical Masters around Australia. Unfortunately, this awful past will also be the future unless action is taken to change the Medicare rebate system to accurately reflect that ALL registered psychologists are entitled to the same rebate if they do the same work – whether they have a Clinical Masters or not, and whether they are members of the clinical college or not.

In South Africa, some countries in South America, there have been truth and reconciliation bodies set up to acknowledge the past grievances, and give expression to the current issues.
Yet as evidenced by the email from the President, the desire is to actually shut everyone down.
Most organisations cannot handle criticisms from members, employees, the flock.
While the APS continues to express that public arguments will only hurt all psychologists, in private there was no action, any change, any acceptance from APS it had done anything wrong (2006 support for the 2 tier / 2011 Senate hearings, when APS did NOT state there were any problems with the 2 tier & of course the disgusting action of the 2018 submission to Medicare by the APS.
No, the past is not the past, when it is impacting everyone in the profession today.
It impacts clinical psychologists in a positive way. The negative impacts devastate most non-clinical psychologists even today (including the lack of Masters courses around Australia other than Clinical Masters).
SO why would clinical psychologists (including the president of the APS, and quite a few Board members) not want to shut all criticisms down?

RAPS, thanks for continuing to allow a platform for people to express their concerns. May you NOT be silenced by comments such as the president’s email, and ongoing harshness.

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The terms of reference for this expert Medicare committee divides the profession into endorsed and unendorsed so no attempt at unity there.

When trust is betrayed repeatedly and over many years, the betrayer has no right to ask to be trusted, they have to earn the trust through actions. And sometimes relationships are shattered, not just broken, and can’t be mended.