We strongly recommend that as many psychologists as possible put in a submission to the Medicare Task Force. Reform APS has already sent one in recommending a single rebate for psychologists. Here is an example of a submission
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce is considering how services can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for patients – find out more here. The email address for submissions is email@example.com.
We now have some suggestions for how to write a submission – download here
Your submission needs to be kept concise and clear. You can learn how to write a submission – download here
Here are some arguments you can use in our submission:
- The MBS benefits should be paid for the provision of the service and not for the practitioner’s background or qualification.
- The efficacy and the outcome of the treatment should be the prime and only reason for applying a Medicare rebate and not the emolument of the practitioner.
- There is no evidence that clinical psychology services provide better patient outcomes than general psychology services
- Better Access funding could have provided crucial psychological services to hundreds of thousands more Australians than it did, due to the higher costs of the clinical rebate.
- Preferential treatment contradicts research based on the Department of Health and Ageing’s own figures. Read more here
- A single tier would align far better with the psychiatrists’ model, who are the other mental health experts in Australia. They have a matrix of item numbers for e.g. type of sessions but not type of psychiatrist.
- The GP model does not make sense. We are all mental health specialists according to Medicare. We don’t need General Psychologists because medical GP’s will not give up being the referrers.
A single rebate would:
- increase the availability of psychological services to the public at less cost
- significantly increase the number of Australians able to access psychological support
- rein in the cost of psychological care delivery and prevent the financial blow-out of the Better Access initiative
- redress the systemic bias against those patients who receive treatment from non-endorsed psychologists in clinical practice under the lower-tiered rebate.
- redress the partisan bias that favours one group of psychologists over others – unprecedented in Western countries and unsupported by any evidence of superior outcomes.
- utilise and uphold the extensive depth and breadth of clinical practice expertise found within the broad scientific community of psychologists registered to practise in this country.
- ensure an increased availability of affordable, more effective psychological assistance and reduce numbers of the millions of Australians being forced out of desperation onto the over-stretched public health system.
- There is strong professional support for the removal of the two-tier system as shown on the change.org petition which has been supported by 2289 signatories.
We will be happy to accept more suggestions – send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org