Senate report too late to save Better Access

A CRUCIAL report set to provide advice on the impact of government cuts to GP mental health rebates has again been delayed because of the huge number of submissions – almost all of them opposing the move.

It means that, instead of the original September publishing date, primary and mental health participants are set to be granted just three days to digest the fruits of a major Senate inquiry into the government’s handling of mental health services before the cuts to the Better Access program take effect on 1 November.

“It’s very disappointing that a critical Senate inquiry has now blown out to a point where it’s not going to have any impact in the rollout, and that’s not what [was] originally intended,” RACGP president Dr Claire Jackson said.

The cuts would “change the face of general practice mental health services from 1 November and it’s a great pity we won’t be able to have the Senate