RAPS Statement on the Spill

Reform APS Reform APS (“RAPS”) represents a group of APS members concerned over the inequities faced by the majority of psychologists currently practicing in the field of mental health within Australia whereby a disparity in remuneration and scope of practice boundaries has become embedded between two specific groups of psychologists.

RAPS wants to bring attention to the two-tier Medicare rebate system as a key development in this growing disparity as it considers it facilitates the advancement of a small sub group of psychologists endorsed as clinical to the detriment of all other expert psychologists registered to practice in Australia.

In order to redress such disparity RAPS advocates for a change in the constitution of the national board of the APS to ensure:

1. a balanced representation of all psychologists is upheld on the APS Board to ensure fair representation and prevent minority control,

2. equity in the advocacy for all psychologists that does not disadvantage one member over another,

3. recognition of all members’ competencies, clinical experience and judgement, not only academic learning; and

4. unambiguously clear strategies to shift the two-tier Medicare rebate system to a single tier for all psychologists practicing successfully in the field of mental health assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

Fairness for all: Support the Spill

The resolution to remove all directors from the APS board is a last chance for APS members to create a society that truly serves the interests of all psychologists.

If we do not act; if we fail to exercise our right to vote on the spill, there is a danger that the APS will continue to primarily represent the interests of clinical psychologists and those who support them to the detriment of non-clinical psychologists.

Together we represent 70% of the members. It’s time we all spoke up.

We consider that the current board is either unable or unwilling to address our concerns around the unfairness brought about by the two-tier system. This is not just about Medicare rebates. It is about standing up for the rights and responsibilities of psychologists to use their professional judgment, rather than having to conform to the medical model. It is about protecting our clients from the medicalisation of the profession.

We ask that all endorsed psychologists – including clinical psychologists of principle, many of whom already support us – to stand together with the generalists to elect a new board. A truly representative board will be able to speak on behalf of the entire profession, rather than a single interest group.

It will find a fairer solution to the current two-tier system that recognises all members’ competencies, clinical experience and judgement. We are the majority of members!

A representative board will also advocate for all its members to be on a single tier system of Medicare rebates. We consider that the current APS board has failed to advocate appropriately for non-clinical psychologists.  RAPS has real concerns that these members’ interests will not be looked after by the current board at the next Medicare review in November.

Freedom of Information documents on the APS submissions to the Department of Health and Ageing show that the APS only ever advocated for a single Medicare rebate exclusively for psychologists eligible for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

It was the government, not our organisation, who insisted on a rebate for non-clinical psychologists. The APS leadership has had more than 10 years to restore fairness but little has been done. We have been waiting for changes for ten years. The time for waiting is over. It is up to members now to act.

Please support the resolutions at the next general meeting to remove the board so a new board can be voted in that supports all members’ interests! Please also visit the RAPS website and print out and sign a copy of our request to the board for a general meeting to be called so the vote is not delayed any longer!