Psychologists join criticism of govt cuts to Better Access

AS SCRUTINY of the controversial cuts to the Better Access scheme continues in the Senate this week, the federal government has come under renewed fire from psychologists over the changes.

In a statement released this morning ahead of his appearance at the Senate inquiry into the government’s handling of mental health, Psychologists Association secretary Quentin Black called on the government to “end its attack” on mental health services.

Under government budgetary measures announced in May, existing MBS rebates of $163.35 for a GP mental health plan will be cut to $85.92 for a 20- to 39-minute consult and $126.43 for a consultation of 40 minutes or more.

The measure, set to come into effect from November, would also cut the maximum number of psychologist sessions offered under the program from 18 to 10.

“The government cuts to direct psychological treatment services is an attack on the rights of those in