GP adviser quits over mental health rebate cuts

THE GP representative on the ­Gillard Government’s mental health advisory group has resigned in protest over the Government’s refusal to back down on plans to slash rebates for GP mental health plans.

Brisbane GP Dr Christine McAuliffe is now the second person to resign from a government mental health advisory body, following National Advisory Council on Mental Health chair Professor John Mendoza last year.

The cuts, part of a wider bid to reduce spending on the Better Access program, are also being questioned by headspace CEO Chris Tanti.

Dr McAuliffe said she quit at a recent meeting of the Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health – chaired by Mental Health Minister Mark Butler – after realising she could not convince the Government to reverse the decision. 

“I felt the Government needed to think about investing and supporting GPs in the role they play in mental health, rather than removing