As we are all aware, Educational Psychologists have been experiencing increasing difficulties because medical aids have been refusing to pay us because of misinterpretation of our scope of practice. Since the inception of EPASSA the executive committee has been very active in attempting to address this situation through
extensive negotiations with the HPCSA’s Professional Board for Psychology and with the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS). It is possible that within the next month the Professional Board for Psychology as well as the CMS could release guidelines favourable to our profession as a result of EPASSA’s advocacy. However, we would not like to rely solely on this possibility, as it may not happen. We have up until now received no joy from either the Council for Medical Schemes or from the HPCSA's Professional Board for Psychology.
The leadership of EPASSA is also active in a number of other organisations and has been, at least partly, instrumental in helping to bring about the following:
· The Clinical Psychology Division of PsySSA has withdrawn its application to be amicus curiae in the RelPAG matter, which withdrawal we welcome;
· Section 27, a public interest law centre that attended the recent EPASSA workshop on the scope of practice, has undertaken to represent the Rural Health Advocacy Project Section as amicus curiae;
· An EPASSA committee member has deposed to an affidavit for Section 27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project Section.
The forthcoming RelPAG court case could have a pivotal impact on our profession, so EPASSA would also like to be admitted as amicus curiae in our own right because we believe that next month may be a defining moment for thousands of South African psychologists. EPASSA recently sent out a call for financial contribution so that we can pay for the necessary legal assistance to assist us in protecting our profession. Thank you to those who have already responded and we strongly implore all educational psychologists to support our actions with financial contributions in order to protect our profession!