We have certainly hit the ground running in 2023. So far this year, we have achieved the following.
We have worked with the McKell Institute on our pivotal report Under Pressure: Australia's Mental Health Emergency. The key recommendations from the report included:
- Provide access to additional subsidised psychological therapy sessions under the current MBS for those with more complex mental health needs.
- Increase the Medicare rebate for psychologists to enable more bulk billing.
- Offer incentives to rural and regional mental health practitioners.
- Expand MBS eligibility to provisional psychologists.
- Improve career pathways for psychology students.
- Provide more Commonwealth Supported Places for psychology students.
Launched the Help Us Help More Campaign to achieve our advocacy objectives. If you have yet to Take Action, we urge you to do so today. To achieve our goals in the May Federal Budget, we need all members to take 5 minutes and contact either their local Federal MP or Minister Butler using our quick and easy campaign tool.
Last week we achieved significant changes in legislation for the disability support pension for registered psychologists and their clients. From 1 April 2023, supporting evidence from all psychologists will be accepted rather than just endorsed clinical psychologists. This is a huge step forward towards equity for all psychologists and their clients. We are working with our legal and government relations teams to leverage this change into other areas where psychologists without clinical endorsement are discriminated against and where a two-tier system exists.
We achieved another legal win. AAPi and our test case for substantial equivalence, Dr Marian Kolta, were awarded costs against the Psychology Board. Again, we are working to leverage this win into systemic changes that will benefit the psychology profession.
This year, we are working heavily on advocacy for the public sector. Many jurisdictions and areas in government-funded services discriminate against psychologists based on endorsement type. Whether this is lower remuneration, lack of options for career progression or outright exclusion. Through legal and advocacy avenues, we are fighting this.
AAPi continues to feature prominently in the media, with over 750 media articles reaching over 7 million people so far this year. We have completed 5 key submissions to make our member's voices heard in various impactful areas.
Thank you for your support!
Tegan Carrison, AAPi Executive Director