Dear CPF Member,
During the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 21-day national lockdown, we have seen unprecedented measures taken to ensure every individual’s health and safety. In support of Government’s efforts to flatten the curve of infection rates, healthcare practitioners have had to adapt their means of service delivery. For the profession of Psychology, this has meant an exploration of the new frontier of tele-consultations, or telehealth. It has been noted that certain medical funders have attempted to make adjustments to their service terms as well, resulting in the proposals by schemes to significantly reduce all payments to practitioners providing services via telehealth channels.
We believe in the value our profession adds to society, and have felt ethically obligated to advocate for the provision of our services to those who require psychotherapeutic services.
CPSA has been in consultation with Clinical Psychology Forum (CPF), regarding an appropriate course of action. To this end, the CPSA Exco in collaboration with CPF Exco have been actively engaging with various stakeholders and entities in an effort to establish workable solutions to COVID-19 (and beyond).
Collaboration with CPF, and other organisations in the profession is being pursued to develop a cohesive response for all of Psychology in South Africa.
Our view of the unilateral decisions taken by funders up to this point, is that it has been ill-informed, and possibly in breach of section 27 of the constitution. We have engaged with the press to make South Africans aware of the situation, and plan to keep you updated on the situation as it develops.
Dr Linda ME Blokland
MA Clin Psych (SA); PhD (UP)