Improve access to evidence-based psychological interventions for the management of chronic disease

Support access to psychological interventions for behaviour change

The Australian community requires interventions to lower the incidence of obesity and reduce the burden of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer. These health concerns are listed in the top eight National Health Priority Areas. Current public health, medical and nursing programs impact on these health priorities, but do not address the human behaviour factors that underpin these lifestyle-related health problems.

Many Australians find lifestyle change difficult and would benefit from the support of psychologists, who are health behaviour change experts. Self-determined health behaviour choices could be significantly enhanced through access to cognitive behavioural interventions delivered by the health psychology workforce. The Australian Psychological Society calls on all political parties to increase access to evidence-based psychological interventions to address the burden of chronic illness on individuals, families, communities and the broader health system.

The Australian Psychological Society seeks a commitment from all political parties to provide flexible Government-funding to psychologists to enable the delivery of evidence-based interventions targeting behaviour change  for people with chronic illness that enables the right dose of treatment to be given to the right person at the right time. These services need to be accessible to all people with a diagnosed chronic disease, whether or not they elect to enrol in a Health Care Home.

 

For further details of this proposal, please contact the Australian Psychological Society

Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM, Executive Director l.littlefield@psychology.org.au

Dr Louise Roufeil, Executive Manager, Professional Practice (Policy) l.roufeil@psychology.org.au

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Where do the parties stand?

The APS has asked for a response from the major political parties regarding the key issues. Party responses will be posted below, as we receive them:

 

Freezing of Medicare rebates

The APS supports the GP campaign against the continued freezing of indexation of Medicare rebates.

Emeritus Professor Gina Geffen AM FAPS