GPs frozen out of mental health funds

The freeze on the Access To Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) from Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local (GMSBML) comes despite it being heavily promoted by the federal government to justify cutting another GP-run mental health program, the $400 million Better Access mental health program, in November 2011.

The ATAPS scheme provides funding to patients for a maximum of 12 sessions per calendar year — six time-limited sessions with an option for a further six sessions following a mental health review by the referring GP.

Mental health minister Mark Butler had spruiked the Medicare Local-run ATAPS