Black Saturday community in mental health care void

While the government claims to be committed to mental health, in the May budget it said it was freezing its popular Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) in which Medicare pays organisations $240 for a 3.5 hour GP-referred nurse visit.

The freeze, in place until a “comprehensive evaluation” of the program is completed, expected to be later this year, means practices, GP divisions and Medicare Locals that employ mental health nurses are unable to increase numbers of nurses or patient visits, and no new organisation is allowed into the program.

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