This week, the Scope of Practice Review commenced. The review was announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget and forms part of the Australian Government’s response to the Strengthening Medicare Reform Taskforce. The Scope of Practice Review will identify opportunities to remove barriers preventing health professionals, including psychologists, from working to their full scope of practice. The review will be a vital opportunity to highlight the artificial barriers imposed on psychologists since the inception of the endorsement and two-tier system.
There is currently a short survey open for initial stakeholder feedback to help guide the subsequent phases of the review. We encourage members to participate in this survey.
AAPi will be heavily involved in the review, and over the coming 12 months, we will keep members informed about how they can contribute.
The NDIS Review remains a priority area for our advocacy and policy team, with almost daily consultations with the NDIA and other stakeholders.
In other news, AAPi's Help Us Help More advocacy campaign has been nominated as a finalist in the Advocacy and Awareness category in the 2023 Prime Awards, recognising and celebrating excellence in healthcare communications. The Help Us Help More campaign brings awareness to the key issues that we are advocating for change and raising the profile of a diversity of psychologists to Help Us Help More. The winners will be announced in November.
The push to end unpaid student placements has gathered momentum, with the topic being raised as a Matter of Public Importance in Canberra last week, with support from Senator Tammy Tyrrell and others for the Federal Government to fund placements.
AAPi continues to highlight our advocacy through the media. In August, we were featured in 64 media stories, reaching over 3 million people. Recent article highlights include:
- An opinion piece in the Courier Mail and The Age.
- Articles on AAPi's calls for 40 perinatal mental health sessions in South Australia's InDaily and on ABC News online.
- ABC Radio interview about the pressures on regional psychologists.
Today, Mental Health Australia (MHA) has called for action by the Federal Government on mental health, with its chair Matt Berriman saying a "whole-of-government commitment is needed to try and fix a dysfunctional and underfunded system, according to an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
"With one in five of us impacted by a mental health condition each year, why is mental health not a national priority and getting the attention of our prime minister?" he asked.
“With suicide rates continuing to be high, and over nine people dying a day, why aren’t we focusing on our own nation’s wellbeing and mental health?”
"Labor’s inaction is leaving millions of people struggling to get the support they need, as research shows the cost of living is affecting the mental health of more than one in two Australians."
MHA wants the government to develop and fund a multi-year mental health roadmap and workforce strategy, with more access to early intervention and digital mental health supports so people can get help before problems snowball, as well as options for people with complex needs who require more than 10 psychologist sessions a year.
"To that end, it says the government needs to fund psychosocial services outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme."
Read the full article in the SMH here.