Govt’s mental health rhetoric lacks evidence

THE Gillard Government has built a career on half truths, rubbery numbers, slyness and guile as it lurches from one health policy disaster to another.

The attempt by Health Minister Nicola Roxon to bridle what she described as the “elephant in the room” at the AMA’s national conference in Brisbane with more weasel words seeking to justify slashing GPs’ mental health plans by up to 50% fell flat.

It wasn’t the jibe about those present wearing their union hats; it was the sheer effrontery she displayed in a disingenuous bid to convince her audience that slashing GP mental health funding was evidence based!

Effectively, Ms Roxon shuffled the money that propped up the MBS item numbers to psychologists. Where’s the evidence that this will work? 

No bother, let’s try something entirely new and unproven rather than reinvest in a program that AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton described as