RAPS is sceptical that the ‘APS MBS Expert Panel’ will be a sincere inquiry into members’ views

The APS yesterday suddenly found it necessary to convene an urgent ‘MBS Expert Panel’ to map a way forward for our profession.

Pardon our cynicism but why now?

Has this got anything to do with the announcement of the Australian Mental Health Alliance and the meeting we had with Health Minister? 

We understand the Health Minister met with the APS yesterday. What did the Minister tell the APS?

We ask why this “Expert Panel” representing ‘stakeholders’ did not happen at the very start of the government inquiry into the MBS Items Review over a year ago?

We ask why was it not set up immediately after the furore arose over the Medicare submission in August (when we were finally given the submission months after it was submitted?

Yesterday, APS CEO, Frances Mirabelli, sent an email to all members introducing a member and stakeholder MBS consultation program to develop recommendations for an MBS model for psychology services.

Is it truly a proportional representational of the membership, as there are 2 as clinical representatives?

Frances stated that all APS members will have the opportunity to provide input to this consultation and an APS MBS Expert Committee.

She stated that this MBS Expert Committee will be calling for written submissions from members.

In addition, members will be invited to participate in an online survey.

RAPS is sceptical that this process will be a fair and unbiased process. The APS has had a terrible track record.

Do you remember the last APS survey into two-tier system held last year?

We all know the that survey was not a sincere inquiry into members’ views of the two-tier system but was rigged to get a result the APS wanted – not what the members needed.

It was a masterpiece of clever phrases and leading questions, designed to compromise people’s responses and force them to accept a particular point of view that was almost certainly contrary to their own.

Will this happen again and than be used us proof that the APS could use to inform government to support the continuation of the two-tier structure or worst?

Even though RAPS has significant concerns and has lost faith that the APS can suddenly be trusted we do encourage all who remain members of the APS to participate in this process so that we can at least monitor the process.

We encourage you to have a voice and to voice your concerns loudly. And continue the discussions with all your colleagues.

RAPS asks that you keep us informed of how you found the consultation.