Black Dog Institute slams cuts to Better Access
This is what Will Bonney, GM at the Black Dog Institute had to say about the Federal Government's changes to the Better Access scheme.
"The Institute made a formal submission to the Inquiry into the Commonwealth Funding and Administration of Mental Health Services in August of this year with, among others, feedback on the changes to the Better Access initiative. There were two Better Access changes that BDI's submission commented on - 1) the rationalisation of GP mental health services by reducing rebates, and 2) the rationalisation of Allied Health treatment sessions available per year from 18 to 10.
BDI's position on the changes to the Better Access scheme was one of concern that:
- By reducing rebates available to them for providing mental health services, GP's are not being recognised for the critical role they play in providing case management to patients at risk. This undermines the delivery of mental health services to a large number of Australians.
- Reducing allied health treatment sessions from 18 to 10 per year leaves insufficient time to treat and establish sustainable management strategies for moderate and severe mental health problems.
The Institute's disappointment with these changes was clearly communicated. With these changes now implemented however, our role now is to continue government advocacy to have these changes reversed."
Clearly the Government has got this wrong. It is NOT Better Access and it's compromising the mental health of those who most need help!