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Medicare Benefits For Patients seeking Psychiatric Help

Prime Minister John Howard and the Federal Government has put together a coherent and long-term strategy that seeks to help those suffering from mental illness//, as well as ease the burden on their carers. He has announced this week a $1.8 billion boost for mental health, including new Medicare rebates for consultations with psychologists wining plenty of acclaim.

He stated that there could be a big difference, with a concerted contribution from the Commonwealth and the states to reform and sustain mental health services. Stating that the changes are designed to help the mentally ill no matter where they live in the city or in the bushes. The aim is to help them to perform the basic tasks of daily living, the stuff most people take for granted such as cooking, shopping or simply going out. More money he said would be available for telephone and internet counselling, such as the Kids Help Line and Lifeline Australia, and more money for more specialised staff. He further stated that there would be a teamwork approach to treatment, with psychologists and mental health nurses able to work alongside GPs and psychiatrists. From November, the Medicare benefits schedule will be restructured to enable GPs and psychiatrists to refer patients to psychologists, and they will be eligible for a Medicare rebate he said.

This latest strategy is designed to help people with mental illness living in the community to better manage their daily activities. People severely afflicted will be helped to access treatment, income support, employment and accommodation. When fully operational, the federal government hopes to help more than 50,000 people a year, particularly those with severe problems who are homeless or not receiving proper treatment.

Stating that the government had in the past tended to overlook the burdens of parents, particularly elderly ones, who look after children with severe mental illness or disability, such as Down syndrome or auti
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