Too late for public input into mental health cuts: adviser

Dr Christine McAuliffe quit as the GP representative on the government’s mental health advisory group in July following the budget announcement the government would reduce the number and size of rebates for GP visits under the Better Access scheme.

She was joined in her protest by most major GP and psychologist groups, who complained the cuts were too much and the government failed to adequately consult the industry first.

Yesterday Mental Health Minister Mark Butler and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin released the government’s draft mental health “blueprint” and asked the public to give feedback until 1 February before the Council of Australian Governments creates a final document early this year.

But Dr McAuliffe said the draft document contained little that was new and the government had waited too late to listen to the public’s views.

“The government might have had a greater body of