AAPi continued to feature prominently in the media throughout the festive season. During the break, we appeared in The Herald Sun, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7News and many more. Throughout December, AAPi was in the media over 250 times, reaching an audience of over 15 million people.
The cutting of the additional 10 Better Access continues to feature heavily in the media. The impacts on clients were discussed very poignantly on Channel 9. There was also a very interesting and comprehensive article by Ali Schnabel, a clinical psychologist. Australia’s Mental Health Care System Is at a Breaking Point — and Labor Is Making It Worse
Some quotes from the article:
"The current Medicare rebate is also a two-tiered system that disadvantages general psychologists and their patients in comparison to clinical psychologists. Even though in practice, clinical psychologists and general psychologists perform almost exactly the same work, clients receive a rebate of $131.65 for sessions with a clinical psychologist as opposed to $86.65 for a general psychologist. This two-tiered rebate system remains in place despite the fact that no compelling evidence exists for any difference in outcomes for clients of clinical versus those of general psychologists."
The result of inadequate and limited Medicare rebates is that Australians who are unable to afford gap fees — or who need more than ten sessions of care a year — must resort to the public mental health system. Yet this, too, is dramatically under-resourced. The public mental health system doesn’t have the capacity to service even 5 percent of the population."
"Beyond this, a simple step would be to abolish the two-tier system of Medicare rebates, and instead introduce a $150 rebate for all psychologists, clinical and non-clinical, as per the recommendations of the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. This could improve access to mental health care overnight, for existing and new patients alike. A 2020–2021 private-practice survey of psychologists found that 80 percent would offer more bulk-billing sessions if the rebate were raised to $150."