More mental health nurses needed: RACGP

In last year’s budget, the government closed the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) to new participants pending a review, prompting concerns the decision would cause a shortage of mental health nurses in crucial areas – including in parts of Victoria affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires where many had been employed.

But the Department of Health evaluation, quietly released on Christmas Eve, said patients, carers, industry bodies and doctors all strongly supported the program, of which 80% is run through either Medicare Locals

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