Saturday, February 25, 2012

Australian Labor Government Reinstates Mental Health Sessions

THE federal government has performed a partial reversal on changes to mental health funding first announced in last year's budget. 
It announced in May it would save $580 million over five years by rationalising the Better Access program, which subsidises treatment by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.

Most of that came from slashing Medicare rebates for GPs who devised treatment plans, while about $175 million was to come from limiting the number of services available to patients from a maximum of 18 to 10.

But after a backlash from some healthcare providers and patients Labor has decided to reinstate an additional six sessions for a ``transitional period'' between March and December 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Reinstating sessions is a good move. In saying that, is Labor aware that it takes approx. 6 to 8 sessions to establish trust with a client. Without such trust, therapy will be rendered ineffective. Only when trust and rapport has been established, can therapy truly begin its work in healing the mind. Exceptions, of course, are cases involving suicidal or homicidal ideation being upper-most in a client's mind. Such cases are emergencies requiring immediate hospitalisation. More than 18 sessions, not less, are needed for appropriate treatment to be effective. Such proper therapy will ultimately reduce the need for future hospitalisations. Having the proverbial rug pulled from under a client could easily send a depressed client into a downward spiral, possibly resulting in suicide. To summarise: More therapy sessions = less hospitalisations = less burden on the hospital system. Thus, more therapy sessions (preferrably 26) in the long run = LESS COST to the government. Everybody wins.