Stop cuts to mental health funding: doctors’ plea

DOCTORS have made a plea to Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon to place a moratorium on the looming cuts to Better Access funding in order to provide adequate time for the government to consider the outcome of an ongoing Senate inquiry.

With the inquiry due to hand down its final report on the government’s handling of mental health funding by 20 October, AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said the 1 November deadline for the introduction of the funding cuts was premature.

“This leaves very little time for serious consideration of the Senate committee report,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Ten days is not enough. The Minister must defer the implementation of the changes to the Better Access program until at least 1 November 2012 to allow proper consideration of the compelling evidence against the cuts,” he said.

Dr Hambleton argued the 12-month moratorium on Better Access funding would provide adequate time for