Mental Health Care Plans

At the Western Downs Health Centre all our Doctors offer appointments for Mental Health.

Dr Manuel has done further study in the field of mental health.

The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.

What Medicare services can be provided under the Better Access initiative?

Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by:

  • A GP managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan; or
  • Under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or
  • A psychiatrist or paediatrician. Allied mental health services under this initiative include psychological assessment and therapy services provided by clinical psychologists, and focussed psychological strategies services provided by appropriately qualified GPs and eligible psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.

 The Better Access initiative is available to patients with an assessed mental disorder who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment needs. Mental disorder is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly interfere with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities.

 Visit your GP who will assess whether you have a mental disorder and whether the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is appropriate for you, given your health care needs and circumstances. If you are diagnosed as having a mental disorder, your GP may either prepare a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or refer you to a psychiatrist who may prepare a psychiatrist assessment and management plan.

 Depending on your health care needs, following the initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services but may be less depending on your clinical need), you can return to your GP or psychiatrist/paediatrician and obtain a new referral to obtain an additional four sessions to a maximum of ten individual and ten group services per calendar year. Whether you have a clinical need to access the additional allied health services which attracts a rebate is a decision for your treating health practitioner, taking into account the written report received from the allied mental health professional at the completion of a course of treatment. At this time, a review of your GP Mental Health Treatment Plan may also be undertaken.