Senate inquiry ignores GP role in mental health: AMA

The claims follow the tabling late yesterday of a report from a Senate committee investigating mental health funding – the same day the controversial changes, which include substantial cuts to GP mental health rebates, took effect.

While the long-awaited report made no specific recommendation on the MBS cuts, it questioned moves to reimburse only 10 visits to psychologists under the Better Access program. Previously, up to 18 visits could be reimbursed.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said the report, including dissenting reports from the Coalition and the Greens, presented a “mishmash of views” that largely overlooked the impact on GP patients of cutting MBS rebates.

“I think GPs are entitled to be disappointed,” he told MO.

“It has missed a lot of issues. I think that the department of health really didn’t assist the committee with the evidence it provided. It seems that the