Should Ros Knight resign from the Expert Panel?

Should Ros Knight resign from the Expert Committee?

Since RAPS exposure of the damaging emails (link to emails) from Ros Knight to Clinical College members, questions have been raised about her eligibility to sit on the APS MBS Expert Committee. We call on Ros Knight to resign her position immediately.

Ros’s biased views, expressed in her emails, are enough to disqualify her from being able to fairly represent all members of our Society. Given the disproportionate number of clinical psychologists on the APS MBS Expert Committee, one less clinical psychologist on the panel could make a significant difference.

Also, Ros’s clear support for the Three-Tier submission to the Medicare Taskforce (which has not been withdrawn) is a further indication of where her real interests lie. This submission demotes all non-clinical psychologists to lower Medicare tiers, despite no evidence of better outcomes by the top tier practitioners.

Members don’t fully understand that the APS MBS Expert Committee’s next submission, like the 2006 submission that set up the two-tier system, is highly likely to be successful. The Health Minister has indicated that he relies on advice from the APS, as the professional body with the greatest number of members. History is, once again, in the making!

Will we see a repeat of the damage caused by the 2006 submission? Will members meekly accept their fate again? Or will we protest in force this time?

RAPS also asks, how could the Board agree to support the discriminatory three-tiers, when the majority of APS members are not clinically endorsed? The bias of the over-representation of clinical psychologists on the Board is obvious. How could the Board agree to such a biased and discriminatory submission when it was fully aware that the majority of members do NOT support the existing two-tier, let alone the proposed three-tier model? Members have a right to know what is really going on. We need to see minutes of meetings to understand how the APS Board, which is supposed to represent all APS members, can arrive at such a dangerous and damaging proposal which restricts the practice of psychological therapy by qualified registered psychologists.

If this bias is so evident in the Board’s support of a non-representational three-tier submission, what hope do we have if the same over-representation by clinical psychologists occurs within the APS MBS Expert Committee? How will the entire APS membership be represented, when the APS MBS Expert Committee is dominated by a minority not the majority of that membership?

The APS Board needs to be more transparent and show us how they voted for such a biased and discriminatory submission which will continue to decimate the profession, and reduce the numbers of registered psychologists providing psychological therapy in Australia.

We must all recall – we are pushing to make psychological therapy available to more Australians, in a more timely manner, in a more affordable manner, and in a manner which does not denigrate a majority of the profession.

Given the disastrous consequences of the 2006 submission, all members should have been consulted about the APS’ three-tier submission last year. Instead, the proposed model came as a shock to most members when they realised that two thirds of the membership were relegated and restricted to the bottom tier.

How can we trust Ros Knight and the APS MBS Expert Committee this time to put forward a submission that represents the interests of all of its members? We don’t.