Better Access instrumental in treatment spike

According to researchers, led by the University of Queensland’s Professor Harvey Whiteford, the popular scheme was responsible for treatment rates increasing from 37% in 2006–07 to 46% by 2009–10.

The study, published in the journal Australian Health Review, concluded that the scheme’s introduction in November 2006 had been the key driver for this improvement.

“The increase in the population treatment rate for mental disorders in Australia… is remarkable by international standards,” the authors wrote. 

“No other country of which we are aware has demonstrated such an increase within three years.”

Researchers said their findings – based on state and federal epidemiological and administrative service data – indicated the rate of treatment would continue to increase “unless there are changes to the Commonwealth-funded MBS programs for mental health care”.

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