The following analysis of trends in the psychology occupational category is discussed on a state by state basis, incorporating differences within each state of the distribution of psychologists between those working in capital cities and those located outside of capital cities.25

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory
State and territory summary

New South Wales

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in New South Wales (NSW) increased by 303% between 2006 and 2007, and 46% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 486% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 2% between 2006 and 2007, increased by 7% between 2007 and 2008, an increase of 5% over the entire period (see Figure 3.5).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in NSW indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce, and a small decrease in the size of the public sector workforce. However, in the second year of the Better Access initiative, the growth of public sector workforce reversed its downward trend and increased positively; while the private (Better Access) sector workforce also continued its increased growth, albeit at a slower pace relative to the previous year. Since the introduction of Better Access, the overall growth trend from 2001-2006 has continued in the public sector psychology workforce, albeit with fluctuations and at a slightly slower rate.

Within NSW, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 285% between 2006 and 2007, 45% between 2007 and 2008, and 459% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 1% between 2006 and 2007, increased by 2% between 2007 and 2008, and increased by 1% over the entire period (Figure 3.6).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 352% between 2006 and 2007, 46% between 2007 and 2008, and 561% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 5% between 2006 and 2007, increased by 15% between 2007 and 2008, and increased by 15% over the entire period (Figure 3.7).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities and non-capital cities level of disaggregation were both similar to the state as a whole, with the trend in the growth of both public and private (Medicare) workforces in the non-capital cities was greater than that in the capital cities over the two year period.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access in NSW both the public and the private (Better Access) psychology workforces have increased in size and this is reflected in increases in both workforces in capital cities and outside of capital cities.
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Figure 3.5 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.5 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

Text version of Figure 3.5

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
430
2002
-
480
2003
-
540
2004
-
540
2005
-
500
2006
80
570
2007
300
560
2008
430
600
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Figure 3.6 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.6 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.6

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
50
350
2007
200
345
2008
300
355

Figure 3.7 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.7 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE NSW psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

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Text version of Figure 3.7

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
20
225
2007
80
220
2008
125
250

Victoria

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in Victoria increased by 298% between 2006 and 2007, 37% between 2007 and 2008, and 446% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 9% between 2006 and 2007, then decreased by 8% between 2007 and 2008, and only increased by 0.1% over the entire period (Figure 3.8).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in Victoria indicates that, in the first year of the Better Access initiative, there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce coupled with relatively moderate growth in the public sector. However, in the second year of the Better Access initiative, the public sector workforce recorded negative growth almost negating the gains made in the previous year; while the private (Better Access) sector workforce continued its increased growth, albeit at a slower pace. Since the introduction of Better Access, the size of the public sector psychology workforce has remained stagnant, reflecting a short-term increase and subsequent decrease. However these fluctuations followed a period of strong growth in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and by 2008 numbers remained higher than they were for the period 2001-05.

Within Victoria, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 284% between 2006 and 2007, and 37% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 425% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 8% between 2006 and 2007, decreased by 6% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 1% over the entire period (Figure 3.9).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 386% between 2006 and 2007, 41% between 2007 and 2008, and 584% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 9% between 2006 and 2007, but decreased by 11% between 2007 and 2008; a decrease of 3% over the entire period (Figure 3.10).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities and non-capital cities level of disaggregation were both similar to the state as a whole. Over the two year period the growth of the private (Better Access) sector workforce in the non-capital cities was greater. Conversely, over the two year period, the size of the public sector psychology workforce stayed the same in the capital cities and experienced slight negative growth in the noncapital cities.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access in Victoria, the public sector workforce has fluctuated and by 2008, was at the same level as 2005-06. By 2008, DFTE numbers in the private (Better Access) psychology workforce exceeded that of FTE numbers in the public sector. Since the implementation of Better Access the size of the public sector workforce outside of capital cities decreased slightly more than it did in capital cities.

Figure 3.8 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.8 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

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Text version of Figure 3.8

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
325
2002
-
330
2003
-
350
2004
-
345
2005
-
340
2006
75
390
2007
300
420
2008
420
390

Figure 3.9 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.9 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.9

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
60
270
2007
250
295
2008
350
270
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Figure 3.10 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.10 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Victorian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.10

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
12
120
2007
50
130
2008
70
115

Queensland

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in Queensland (Qld) increased by 350% between 2006 and 2007, 47% between 2007 and 2008, and 561% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 8% between 2006 and 2007, 20% between 2007 and 2008, and 30% over the entire period (Figure 3.11).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in Queensland indicates that, in the first year of the Better Access initiative, there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce coupled with relatively moderate growth in the public sector. In the second year of the Better Access initiative, the size of both the public and private (Better Access) sector workforces continued to grow. However, while the growth rate of the public sector workforce increased substantially in the second year of Better Access, relative to the first year, the positive growth rate of the private (Better Access) sector moderated. Since the introduction of Better Access, the growth rate in the public sector psychology workforce was greater than that evident in the longer-term trend.

Within Queensland, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 349% between 2006 and 2007, and 40% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 530% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 9% between 2006 and 2007, 39% between 2007 and 2008; and 51% over the entire period (Figure 3.12).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 350% between 2006 and 2007, and 53% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 590% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 7% between 2006 and 2007, 7% between 2007 and 2008, and 15% over the entire period (Figure 3.13).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities level of disaggregation was similar to the state as a whole. Over the two year period, both the public and private (Better Access) psychology workforces grew, with the growth rate of the public sector workforce increasing in the second year while the growth rate of the private (Better Access) sector slowed. At the non-capital cities level of disaggregation, over the two year period, the growth of the private (Better Access) sector workforce was consistently higher, compared with the capital cities; whereas, the growth of the public sector workforce was consistently slightly less, compared with the capital cities. Regardless, the size of both the public and private (Better Access) psychology workforces at the non-capital cities level was consistently larger to that at the capital cities level, over the two year period.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access in Queensland, growth in the public sector has been greater than that of the longer term trend. This growth was reflected in both capital cities and outside of capital cities. During this period, growth was stronger outside of capital cities for both public and private (Better Access) sectors.
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Figure 3.11 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.11 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

Text version of Figure 3.11

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
240
2002
-
240
2003
-
255
2004
-
280
2005
-
275
2006
35
305
2007
150
325
2008
220
400
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Figure 3.12 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.12 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.12

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
15
120
2007
70
130
2008
100
185

Figure 3.13 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.13 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Queensland psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

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Text version of Figure 3.13

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
15
180
2007
80
195
2008
120
210

South Australia

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in South Australia (SA) increased by 470% between 2006 and 2007, 61% between 2007 and 2008, and 815% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 5% between 2006 and 2007, increased by 37% between 2007 and 2008, and increased by 31% over the entire period (Figure 3.14).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in SA indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce, but a small decrease in the size of the public sector workforce. However, in the second year of the Better Access initiative, the growth of public sector workforce reversed its downward trend and increased positively; while the private (Better Access) sector workforce also continued its increased growth, albeit at a slower pace relative to the previous year. Since the introduction of Better Access, the growth rate in the public sector psychology workforce has been considerably greater than the long-run trend which was relatively stagnant betweem2002-03 and 2006-07.

Within SA, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 464% between 2006 and 2007, 58% between 2007 and 2008, and 789% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 5% between 2006 and 2007, then increased by 36% between 2007 and 2008; an increase of 30% over the entire period (Figure 3.15).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the numbers of DFTE psychologists in the private (Better Access) sector and FTE psychologists in the public sector workforces are both very small (Figure 3.16). Using these numbers to discuss proportional changes over time may be misleading; therefore the trend comparison of the two workforces at this level of disaggregation is not further discussed. The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities and non-capital cities level of disaggregation were both similar to the state as a whole.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access in South Australia, growth in the public sector was greater than that of the longer term trend. The growth is reflected in both capital cities and outside of capital cities.

Figure 3.14 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.14 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

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Text version of Figure 3.14

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
62
2002
-
79
2003
-
72
2004
-
82
2005
-
83
2006
8
82
2007
45
80
2008
72
110

Figure 3.15 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.15 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.15

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
10
81
2007
41
75
2008
62
106
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Figure 3.16 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.16 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE South Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.16

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
0.5
3.2
2007
3.8
3.0
2008
7.0
5.0

Western Australia

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in Western Australia (WA) increased by 418% between 2006 and 2007, 40% between 2007 and 2008, and 627% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 16% between 2006 and 2007, decreased by 6% between 2007 and 2008, and increased by 10% over the entire period (Figure 3.17).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in WA indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce coupled with relatively moderate growth in the public sector. However, in the second year of the Better Access initiative, the public sector workforce suffered slight negative growth; while the private (Better Access) sector workforce continued its increased growth, albeit at a slower pace. Since the introduction of Better Access the growth rate in the public sector psychology workforce has maintained its overall rate of growth since 2001.

Within WA, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 409% between 2006 and 2007, 40% between 2007 and 2008, and 613% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector increased by 8% between 2006 and 2007, 1% between 2007 and 2008, and 9% over the entire period (Figure 3.18).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the numbers of DFTE psychologists in the private (Better Access) sector and FTE psychologists in the public sector workforces are both very small (Figure 3.19). As the use of proportional changes over time may be misleading, the trend comparison of the two workforces at this level of disaggregation is not further discussed. The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities level of disaggregation was similar to the state as a whole.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access in Western Australia there has been fluctuation in the public sector psychology workforce; this resulted in it maintaining its longer term rate of growth (since 2001). The decrease in numbers in the public sector in 2007-08 was mainly related to the workforce outside of capital cities.
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Figure 3.17 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.17 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

Text version of Figure 3.17

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
112
2002
-
125
2003
-
120
2004
-
115
2005
-
120
2006
15
145
2007
83
165
2008
116
160
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Figure 3.18 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.18 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.18

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
15
130
2007
75
140
2008
105
142

Figure 3.19 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.19 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Western Australian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by non-capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

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Text version of Figure 3.19

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
1
12
2007
8
25
2008
11
15

Tasmania

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 344% between 2006 and 2007, 33% between 2007 and 2008, and 491% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector remained the same between 2006 and 2007, decreased by 9% between 2007 and 2008, and decreased by 9% over the entire period (Figure 3.20).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in Tasmania indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative there was a significant increase in the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce, but no change in the size of the public sector workforce. In the second year of the Better Access initiative, the public sector workforce experienced negative growth, while the private (Better Access) sector workforce continued its increased growth, albeit at a much slower pace. Since the introduction of Better Access, the negative growth rate of the public sector psychology workforce has brought the size of the workforce back to the 2004 level.

Within Tasmania at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 292% between 2006 and 2007, 29% between 2007 and 2008, and 405% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector remained the same between 2006 and 2007, and decreased by 7% between 2007 and 2008; a decrease of 7% over the entire period (Figure 3.21).

At the 'non-capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number sof DFTE psychologists in the private (Better Access) sector workforce are small and the numbers of FTE psychologists in the public sector workforce are not available. The trend comparison of the two workforces at this level of disaggregation is therefore not presented or further discussed. The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities level of disaggregation was similar to the state as a whole.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access the size of the public sector psychology workforce in Tasmania has decreased slightly to its 2004 level. By 2008, the size of the private (Better Access) workforce was larger than that of the public sector workforce.

Figure 3.20 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Tasmanian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.20 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Tasmanian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

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Text version of Figure 3.20

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
20
2002
-
23
2003
-
17
2004
-
25
2005
-
24
2006
5
27
2007
22
27
2008
28
25

Figure 3.21 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Tasmanian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.21 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Tasmanian psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.21

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
4
27
2007
14
27
2008
18
25
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Northern Territory

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in the Northern Territory (NT) increased by 406% between 2006 and 2007, 44% between 2007 and 2008, and 627% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector only slightly increased by 3% between 2006 and 2007, 1% between 2007 and 2008, and 4% over the entire period (Figure 3.22). It should be noted that, in this instance, the use of proportional changes over time may be misleading as the private (Better Access) sector workforce was starting from DFTE base of 0.4 in 2006, the smallest of all the states/territories.

The overall trend of the psychology workforce the NT indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative the size of the both the public and private (Better Access) workforces grew slightly. In the second year of the Better Access initiative, the size of both the public and private (Better Access) sector workforces continued to grow. However, while it appears that the private (Better Access) sector may have grown at a faster rate relative to the public sector, the absolute size of both workforces are considerably smaller than all the other states/territories. Since the introduction of the Better Access initiative, it appears that the short-run growth rate of the public sector workforce was considerably slower than the longrun trend, but both remained positive.

Within the NT, at both the capital cities and non-capital cities level of geographic disaggregation, the numbers of DFTE psychologists in the private (Better Access) sector and FTE psychologists in the public sector workforces are very small. The trend comparison of the two workforces at this level of disaggregation is therefore not presented or further discussed.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access, the public sector psychology workforce in the NT has increased slightly, but the rate of growth was weaker than in the years 2001-2005.

Figure 3.22 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Northern Territory psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.22 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE Northern Territory psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

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Text version of Figure 3.22

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
8
2002
-
9
2003
-
6
2004
-
9
2005
-
12
2006
0.5
12
2007
2.5
12.5
2008
3.1
12.6

Australian Capital Territory

The number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access Items in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) increased by 548% between 2006 and 2007, 56% between 2007 and 2008, and 910% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector deceased by 17% between 2006 and 2007, and 19% between 2007 and 2008: a decrease of 33% over the entire period (Figure 3.23).

The overall trend of the psychology workforce in the ACT indicates that in the first year of the Better Access initiative the size of the private (Better Access) sector workforce increased, while there was a decrease in the size of public sector workforce. In the second year of the Better Access initiative the public sector workforce continued to shrink at approximately the same rate of growth, as the previous period; while the private (Better Access) sector workforce continued its positive growth, but at a moderated pace. Since the introduction of Better Access, there has been a reversal of the longer term growth trend in the public sector psychology workforce with the size of the workforce in 2008 being only marginally larger than it was in 2002.

Within the ACT, at the 'capital cities' level of geographic disaggregation, the number of DFTE psychologists that utilised Better Access items increased by 544% between 2006 and 2007, 56% between 2007 and 2008, and 902% over the entire period. In comparison, the number of FTE psychologists in the public sector decreased by 16% between 2006 and 2007, decreased by 20% between 2007 and 2008, and decreased by 33% over the entire period (Figure 3.24).

At the non-capital cities level of geographic disaggregation, the numbers of DFTE psychologists in the private (Better Access) sector workforce are small and the numbers of FTE psychologists in the public sector workforce are not available. As such, the trend comparison of the two workforces at this level of disaggregation are not presented or further discussed. The overall trend of the psychology workforce at the capital cities level of disaggregation was almost representative of the territory as a whole.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access, there has been a decrease in the size of the public sector psychology workforce in the ACT to the extent that it has reversed all gains since 2002.

Figure 3.23 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE ACT psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.23 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE ACT psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, 2001-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.
National Survey of Mental Health Services 1996-2005

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Text version of Figure 3.23

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2001
-
52
2002
-
47
2003
-
55
2004
-
56
2005
-
58
2006
2
72
2007
15
60
2008
22
49

Figure 3.24 Comparison of the FTE/DFTE ACT psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.24 below. Comparison of the FTE/DFTE ACT psychology workforce, public and private (Better Access) sectors, by capital cities, 2006-2008

Sources: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data
Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.24

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Better Access (DFTE)Public (FTE)
2006
2
74
2007
15
60
2008
22
50
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State and territory summary

Not surprisingly, the overall trends in the DFTE of the Better Access psychology workforce indicate an increase in every state and territory. Over the period from 2006 to 2008, the largest Better Access DFTE psychology workforces were located in NSW, Victoria and Queensland (Figure 3.25), with the highest growth being in SA (815%), the ACT (910%) and WA (627%).

To a lesser extent the overall trends in the public FTE psychology workforce by state and territory reveal that there was an increase over the two year period in every state and territory except for Tasmania and the ACT, with Victoria remaining virtually unchanged (Figure 3.26). Again, the largest public sector psychology workforces (by FTE) were located in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, with the highest growth public being in SA (31%), Queensland (30%) and WA (10%).

It is evident from the data that the implementation of Better Access has had a positive impact on the growth of the private (Better Access) psychology workforce. However, it is difficult from the current data to attribute the changes in the public sector psychology workforces to the introduction of the Better Access initiative, as there are an insufficient number of time periods. Further monitoring of the MBS and MHE: NMDS data over subsequent years will provide a clearer indication of whether the changes in the size of the workforces are due to a period of adjustment, state-level policies in the public mental health sector, or to more underlying trends in supply in those states/territories.

Figure 3.25 Private sector (DFTE) Better Access psychology workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.25 below. Private sector (DFTE) Better Access psychology workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Source: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data

Text version of Figure 3.25

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
NSW
75
295
425
VIC
75
305
420
QLD
30
150
220
SA
0
49
70
WA
20
80
110
TAS
0
25
26
NT
0
1
2
ACT
0
24
25
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Figure 3.26 Public sector (FTE) psychology workforces, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.26 below. Public sector (FTE) psychology workforces, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Source:Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.26

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
NSW
575
555
600
VIC
390
420
390
QLD
300
330
495
SA
80
79
105
WA
149
160
155
TAS
25
25
24
NT
15
15
16
ACT
75
62
50

Footnotes

25 For a comparison with the RRMA geographical categories, see Table 1.2