Probe into GP mental health cuts

GPs have won an early victory in the fight against cuts to rebates for GP mental health plans, with a Senate inquiry to examine how the Budget measure will impact family doctors and their patients.

The inquiry, initiated by the Coalition and backed by Greens senator Rachel Siewert, will investigate much of the Government’s Budget centrepiece mental health package, including the cuts to the Better Access scheme that will see rebates for GP mental health plans significantly clawed back. 

The adequacy and impact of services provided via the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program will also come under the Senate’s scrutiny. 

News of the inquiry comes after the joint GP advocate group, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) – comprising the AMA, RACGP, AGPN, RDAA and others – failed to convince Mental Health Minister Mark Butler to bend on cuts to rebates for GP mental health plans offered under the