The APS has mounted a massive offensive via emails and articles in InPsych and APS Matters – with RAPS firmly in their sights – to promote the governance changes. So far Lyn Littlefield, Anthony Cichello and now Amanda Gordon – all clinical psychologists and instrumental in the original Medicare drive – are leading the push. (No doubt soon they may even call in Paul Martin.)
RAPS is actually flattered by what amounts to acknowledgement by the APS of the strength of our arguments and the response from members.
Typically, however, it’s a one-sided argument. The APS doesn’t even attempt to provide a balanced view. According to our leaders, there’s no downside to the governance changes at all. There’s no discussion about the impact on members’ rights to elect their representatives. No response to concerns about massive increased costs as a result of the new system.
These Constitutional changes demand a full costs/benefits analysis to be presented to the entire membership and conducted by an independent external panel (certainly not from a board-selected Governance Review Committee (GRC), with an over-representation of clinical members). How this GRC was selected is not transparent at all.
Many members also feel there has been zero accountability or transparency as to why three new clinical psychologists (including a clinical neuro) were appointed to the Board a few months ago. Several members have requested the minutes to this meeting, which have been refused on the grounds of corporate confidentiality. Yet no explanation for these clinical appointments has been offered.
The lack of detailed information about the implementation of the Constitutional changes is good enough reason to vote NO on June 6th. Read how to vote here.
Surprisingly ‘other’ college leaders have publicly supported the proposed governance changes. Despite the long unfulfilled ‘promise’ that colleges will be supported in acquiring the higher Medicare rebate, and absolutely zero evidence of any intention to act on it, hope apparently reigns eternal.
In the absence of any published agenda, many feel that they have been hoodwinked. They find it hard to believe that voting YES for the constitutional changes will be for their betterment. Despite their significant membership and expertise, they will be reduced to one single representative on the Board.
In the UK recently a Counselling Psychologist was voted to the Presidency. This is result that is unlikely to happen in our Society, once the APS Board has locked-down its special-committee voting system even further, under the Constitutional reform.
The continued demise of ‘other’ Colleges does not seem to disturb them when they recommend their members to vote FOR the changes. But then, many of the Chairs are now ‘converted clinicals’ , i.e. they have both clinical and non-clinical memberships. And if the lack of Masters’ courses continues, soon there will not be any ‘other’ colleges to bother about.
The wider APS members know little about what’s going on. The Generalists are the ones who should be outraged. Their DGPP representatives seem to have accepted their underdog status – or as one member described them as “the Untouchables of the society” – without protest.
It’s clear that the government will not increase additional Medicare rebates. But think how much they could save on a single rebate and keep us all in Medicare?
So here’s a question: Would the Clinical College consider sacrificing their higher rebate for the greater good of psychology and the entire register of practitioners?