AAPi is featured in The Australian today, highlighting concerns that slashing the Better Access mental health sessions has forced practitioners to consider leaving the profession.
AAPi Executive Director Tegan Carrison noted that the government’s disregard for the recommendations set out in its own evaluation report, indicates that “the government does not care about or prioritise mental healthcare”. Tegan raises concerns about the government’s poor handling and timing of this latest blow, with the loss of even a single psychologist being of extreme concern in the middle of a mental health crisis.
The decision to scrap the additional Better Access sessions does not address the underlying issues. Namely cost and workforce shortages. We need the government to listen and take action by ending the two-tier system, increasing mental health funding and working on a multipronged workforce strategy, including utilising the 7,900 provisional psychologists by creating a provisional psychologist Medicare rebate.
AAPI battles many issues on behalf of its members, including workforce shortages, outdated Medicare rebates and diminishing education and training pipeline opportunities. The slashing of Medicare sessions from 20 to 10 has been universally decried in the industry and only adds more pain and pressure on those working on the front line of mental health care.
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