The Australian Psychological Society (APS) welcomes the release of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) Final Report.
"The NHHRC's proposed reform options are significant in both scope and magnitude," said Professor Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the APS. "The report is to be commended as a great starting point for the health reform journey."
The APS acknowledges the strong vision of primary health care and sub-acute care outlined in the report.
"We are particularly encouraged by the recommendations for the early intervention and coordination of mental health services," Professor Littlefield said. "The better utilisation of psychologists and allied health professionals more broadly is fundamental to improving health outcomes. The increasing role of psychology in supporting behaviour change to better manage chronic disease and provision of psychological treatments for people with mental health problems is of increasing importance for future planning. I believe that this report lays the foundation for this to occur over time."
The APS welcomes recommendations to improve service integration and coordinated care for people with chronic disease and increased support for people with mental illness. The establishment of Primary Health Care Centres with a multidisciplinary workforce; Primary Health Care Organisations with equitable governance arrangements and improved support for rural and remote health professionals are important advancements in the overall reform of the primary care sector.
There is still much more detail required before many of the reports major recommendations could be implemented. The Australian Psychological Society remains committed to future consultation and urges the Government to remain focused on the timely implementation of the reform directions and to actively engage with key stakeholders in relation to future primary health care reform.
The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 17,500 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to peoples' lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.
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