Support for GP who won’t take on new mental health patients

Dr Andrew Thompson, a solo GP from the Perth suburb of Kingsley, says the largely positive response has left him hoping for a “broader dialogue” on GP sub-specialisation. He says considering which GPs have the right skills for certain patients would cut down overtreating and unnecessary referrals. 

“The professional honesty that I’m not the best person for this particular problem can only strengthen care,” he said.

Dr Thompson said his comments could be viewed in a similar light to those of doctors who declined to perform Pap smears or breast examinations. 

AMA WA chief Dr Michael Gannon said it was “not appropriate” to separate mental health from other issues. He said Dr Thompson’s comments were “regrettable” because of the stigma around mental illness, which was too often not seen as a “real