Hon Nicola Roxon - Minister for Health and Aging

Social workers and occupational therapists will be excluded from accepting referrals under the Better Access to Mental Health scheme from 01/04/2011.

This decision has been taken as part of the Federal Governments establishment of the National Health and Hospitals Network, announced in the Budget presented on 11/05/2010.

The impact of this decision is far reaching. People with mental health problems will not be able to claim back any rebate when seeing Social Workers and Occupational Therapists, placing these services beyond the financial reach of most. They will also have less access to services, and less choice in who they see. Therefore, people experiencing these issues will not get the help they need and will turn to public mental health services for which they are ineligible. The community as a whole will be required more and more to care for people who have not had access to quality and timely mental health interventions.

Besides these devastating consequences for the community, many Social Workers and Occupational Therapists who set up small businesses to provide these services will go out of business.

We, the undersigned, call on Hon Nicola Roxon (Minister for Health and Aging) to reinstate social workers and occupational therapists to practice under the Better Access to Mental Health Scheme.

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The Reinstate allied health professions to Better Access to Mental Health petition to Hon Nicola Roxon - Minister for Health and Aging was written by Debbi and is in the category Health at GoPetition.