AAPi in the Media- Self-referral Disaster Medicare Items

Posted on 3 March 2022

The Australian Association of Psychologists (AAPi) has been calling for the Medicare item numbers, introduced after the 2020 bushfire crisis, to be extended to include any large scale disaster, pandemic or traumatic event. These items allow clients to self-refer directly to a psychologist for up to 10 sessions per calendar year without the need for a mental health diagnosis. In 83 media articles today, AAPi’s calls for those impacted by floods to be able to access vital mental health services under Medicare, have been published. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7642696/eyes-on-supply-chain-impacts-from-flood/?cspt=1646265024%7C5cf7387ea1aedf2a72f26b16cce58be8 
AAPi has been calling on the Federal Government for the past year to make these item numbers, once specifically created for bushfire victims, to be expanded to cover any form of disaster. Our members know that while disaster relief payments might help victims in the short term, the ongoing mental health impacts of a disaster can be devastating. 

We will continue to call on the government to be proactive in establishing trauma and disaster recovery item numbers so people can receive the support they need, when they need it.