On Friday, the National Cabinet met to focus on access and equity solutions in healthcare. One of the outcomes of this meeting was the need to support health professionals to work at the top end of their scope of practice.
Psychologists are currently not supported to work at the top of their scope, with the limitations placed on over 70% of the workforce without clinical endorsement. This is an arbitrary limitation in both client rebates and scope in certain areas, significantly reducing access to expert mental health care in Australia. If the government is committed to addressing health access and inequity, immediately removing the two-tier system for psychologists in the public and private sectors is essential.
In the lead-up to the Federal Budget next week AAPi is abundantly resolute in our solutions.
- We must raise the Medicare rebate to $150 for the clients of all psychologists and end all forms of discrimination based on endorsement status.
- We need to reverse the cuts to the Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions to support Australians living with mental ill-health and struggling to access the necessary services.
- We need the Government to allow provisional psychologists to provide services under Medicare to create a larger pool of mental health professionals that the community can affordably access and support our next generation of psychologists.
- We need to extend incentives available to rural and regional GPs, to psychologists.
- We must look to the future of our profession, boost the number and type of university places available, and provide more significant funding subsidies.