Support for public consultation on mental health reform

After the government controversially slashed mental health rebates under the Better Access scheme last year, Mental Health Minister Mark Butler and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin said the new roadmap would “guide where we focus our attention and funding” for the next decade.

The government posted a draft roadmap online for public consultation and called for public comment until 1 February. The feedback would help the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) consider the final roadmap early this year, it said.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, an outspoken critic of the Better Access rebate cuts, said he would continue to oppose those cuts but “I’d applaud the government for consulting”.

“The government will always make a better decision if it’s better informed, so that’s a good thing,” Dr Hambleton said.

He noted that several aspects of the draft roadmap appeared