December 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Psychologists of the State Council against the new reimbursement ...

Psychologists of the State Council against the new reimbursement …

Four psychological associations are heading to the State Council in hopes of scrapping a new agreement that would make psychiatric care more accessible. They believe that professional secrecy is being violated and complain about arbitrary enforcement.

Source: Belgian

Thanks to an agreement between the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, FPS Public Health and the sector, it is now possible to pay 11 euros to visit a psychiatrist per consultation, albeit under conditions and a limited number of sessions. But the scheme was not universally welcomed.

Read also. Going to a psychologist just got easier and cheaper: what exactly would change? How much will the session cost? (+)

APPELpsy, KLIpsy, UPpsy-BUPsy, and APPpsy, four associations of psychologists, are heading to the State Council to request that the agreement be rescinded. They are smaller organizations than the Flemish Association of Clinical Psychologists (VVKP), which was involved in negotiating and signing the agreement, but according to Steve Goss of UPpsy-BUPsy, together they represent hundreds of psychologists.

Confidentiality and professional abuse

The associations believe the agreement violates their professional secrets, because the payment plan includes a role for a general practitioner. The psychiatrist should share information about the patient with the GP.

“This is not a problem if the doctor is already aware, but we know from research that this is rare,” says Joss. “In most patients, the GP knows nothing about it. The fact that you lose your right to a refund if you don’t want the GP to know that you are seeing a psychiatrist is a problem.”

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Moreover, the limited funding – 151 million euros – means that cheaper care is not yet possible for every patient and not every psychiatrist. “There will be a selection of who can participate and who can’t. Nobody knows what that choice will depend on,” says Joss. “This is completely arbitrary.”

The four associations propose as an alternative to extending the current reimbursement through health insurance funds.

Read also. Not the hoped-for landslide after all: barely 30 per cent of psychologists will be able to get 11 euros (+)