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AAPi Update

Posted on 9 February 2024

Being a psychologist can be hard; whether you are a solo psychologist in private practice in a small country town, a psychologist in a school surrounded by well-meaning colleagues who don’t understand your role or ethical requirements, an organisational psychologist leading a diverse team, a student desperately applying for post-graduate opportunities while figuring out how to afford rent AND food this week, or a budding entrepreneur wanting to share your expertise with the world... Being a part of AAPi brings community, as well as a team working on the systemic barriers and challenges that keep you awake at night. Wherever you are in your career journey, we have your back.

Advocacy is our core activity. Every day, we listen to members, write submissions, contribute to research, participate in working groups and consultations, interpret new legislation and policies, negotiate with funding bodies for higher fees and rebates, speak with journalists, meet with stakeholders and ensure all psychologists are represented and heard at the highest possible levels. 

Here is a snapshot of our activities this week:

  • Autism CRC Framework Development meeting
  • Hosting interest group meetings
  • Full-day Ahpra symposium on recommendations to reform notification and complaint process to reduce practitioner distress
  • Health Sector Digital Health Working Group Meeting
  • AI in Health Care
  • Scope of Practice Consultations

On the Scope of Practice Review, or to use the full title Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce – Scope of Practice Review, this is a pivotal, independent review examining the barriers health practitioners face working to their full scope of practice, with the goal of exploring the system changes and practical improvements needed to support greater productivity and improved, safe, and affordable care for patients. 

The premise is that with the right technology, innovation, regulation and funding in place, the health care system can benefit from each individual health practitioner working to the top of their scope of practice. 

Some of the preliminary recommendations of interest that are being discussed are reforms to Medicare and other funding, away from a different rebate amount based on profession or endorsement (for example, higher rebates for GPs or psychologists with clinical endorsement under Better Access), to the same rebate/fee based on the service provided. There is also considerable discussion regarding further flexibility in referral pathways. 

The Scope of Practice review is an important opportunity to advocate for the end of the two-tier system, remove administrative red-tape, and address the devaluing of psychologists with general registration, and the lack of recognition of the full diversity of psychology.