Clinical psychologists
Psychologists
Social workers

Clinical psychologists

Clinical Psychologist Missing
I am very pleased to have the opportunity make some comments about the Better Access Initiative, especially to an independent body. Better Access has provided an excellent opportunity for members of the community in need to access appropriate mental health. (#163)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
As clinical psychologist often get referred more complex cases where psychological treatment requires more than 12 sessions. (#225)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
Better Access has provided opportunities for those who cannot access public mental health clinical psychologists due to demand and service restrictions (#62)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
Clinical Psychologists are required in mental health services and hospitals not in private practices which are geographically limited. Better to use funds to provide well paid clinical psychologist posts in specialist services as are needed. (#170)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
I also work in a rural community where Better Access is not available. There, clinical psychologists provide psychological services under the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care via a Division of General Practice. (#135)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
I have some reservations about 4 year trained psychologists working with clients with complex issues (there is no practicum component to the university course at undergraduate level). I also think it should be compulsory to produce some type of standard. . . . (incomplete comment) (#235)
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Clinical Psychologist Missing
I think the better initiative could be strengthened for children and young people if it was recognised that some appointments need to be with the parent alone, and they were reimbursed for these. It is not always helpful or productive in treatment to see only the child (#238)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
In my view, this service is serving the community well, and providing considerably better services to those in our community who have mental health problems. However, for those with Axis 2 disorders (personality disorders etc), there are far too few sessions. (#287)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
It is a great initiative. Lots of people need help but may not be acutely unwell enough to go into the public system. This initiative has closed the gap and has helped many people in the community. (#217)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
It is good that many people who would not meet the criteria for Mental Health Clinics can assess treatment through this service, however, I note that many patients who are accessing Better Access are in fact financially able to access a private Clinical Psychology services (#203)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
It is my experience that people who previously could not afford to access high quality psychological care are the major beneficiaries of this initiative and this allows them to address their issues earlier thus being more preventative (#201)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
It would be helpful to abolish the six session review - GPs always approve further sessions anyway. GPs require further information about eligibility for further sessions, ie the confusion between the anniversary date of the plan, the notion of calendar years (#132)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
Overall BAI helpful. however, suggests to public that all problems are treatable in 12 (or occasionally 18) sessions which is not true, does not account for psychological treatment for people with severe PD and in fact may be iatrogenic for these; does not pay non . . . . (incomplete comment) (#160)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
People have concerns that most of the psychological services are being delivered within the relatively wealthy eastern and northern suburbs of Sydney. I think there are two points worth considering. Firstly, this is where, prior to 2006 most private psychologists were located. . . . (incomplete comment) (#48)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
Some key conditions of child psychopathology (e.g. Autism) are not included in the initiative and this causes significant difficulty for some of the most needy families. We have seen a major increase in low-income families (in western Sydney) bringing children (#234)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
The Better Access Initiative has, on the whole, made a big difference to the accessibility of services to the general community. I'm not sure about some groups and have indicated this above. For rural and remote communities I think we should work toward . . . . (incomplete comment) (#14)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
The impact of 'psychologists' referrals vs. Clinical Psychologists referrals should be explored. Psychologists, whom have half the training of Specialists are now dominant in the field to the extent that Clinical Psychologists positions are now threatened . . . . (incomplete comment) (#219)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
The information available to psychologists re administrative issues has been inconsistent, especially when contacting Medicare eg. how long a current referral is valid, whether a written referral is required etc. Locating information on the Medicare website. (#167)
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Clinical Psychologist Missing
The initiative does not adequately address the appropriate and empirically supported treatments for young people. It needs to further investigate treatments options such as family therapy and parent sessions/therapy. It needs to allow for parents to be seen separately (#87)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
The lack of formal overall evaluation of the efficacy of services being offered by private practitioners needs to be addressed. (#196)

Clinical Psychologist Missing
There are some very poorly prepared psychologists rendering services under this initiative. (#188)

Psychologists

Psychologist Missing
Because children need adults to supervise their health and development, there should be provision for counselling sessions/interviews with parents without the child present. It is often not appropriate to discuss the child's difficulties with the child present. (#187)

Psychologist Missing
Better Outcomes has made mental health services available to those individuals who before did not have access to a mental health service. Individuals who previously could not afford private rates and whose illness was classed as not severe enough as requiring public mental health care (#184)

Psychologist Missing
Extreme need for neuropsychology services to be added in to assist in ax and tx plans for mental illness. (#66)

Psychologist Missing
I am unsure of the advantages to people in remote communities - would probably depend if there were Psychologists in the local area. I think it would be beneficial if there was some provision for phone sessions to improve access. (#108)

Psychologist Missing
I do not entirely agree with the rebate split between psychologists and clinical psychologists. As a psychologist, my training and experiences makes me qualified to provide psychological treatment so the distinction for me, personally, is significantly f. . . . (incomplete comment) (#158)

Psychologist Missing
I have had many individuals comment that they have accessed the service via their GPs through personal referral because it is personal and not agency based. (#103)

Psychologist Missing
I have no exposure to some of the target population. (#233)

Psychologist Missing
I work primarily with Ethnic Chinese community. It is well documented in Cross Cultural Mental Health Literature across the world that Chinese tended to have a low MH service usage. With the Better Access initiative, there are many Chinese clients seek psychologists (#55)

Psychologist Missing
In the low income area where I practice, it would be impossible to earn a sufficient wage to justify offering psychological counselling there without Better Outcomes. At present with the reduced funds available through Better Outcomes, I am having to look a. . . . (incomplete comment) (#154)

Psychologist Missing
People who previously could not afford psychological services can now receive help. I believe in bulk billing clients when this is needed but I know other psychologists who are reluctant to do so. (#290)
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Psychologist Missing
Some doctors still do not appear to support the initiative wholeheartedly, and question the legitimacy of patients' entitlement to psychological services. (#128)

Psychologist Missing
The current two tier system for psychologists is unfair and divisive. There needs to be only one level of rebate for all psychologists. (#83)

Psychologist Missing
The face to face requirement of services provided by psychologists is a major hindrance to people from rural and remote areas in accessing services. The problem is not one of a lack of psychologist but one of a lack of psychologists in rural areas. (#278)

Psychologist Missing
The two tier system for psychologists appears to have had unintended consequences on demand for one type of academic training, and demand for services offered by Clinical psychologists at a higher rebate. The distinction in actual services offered between . . . . (incomplete comment) (#11)

Social workers

Social Worker Missing
Improvement of referrals from Doctors will occur only if the doctors each have a data base of allied mental health profession to whom they could refer in their area. Alongside each name, there could be appropriate information such as the type of service. (#384)

Social Worker Missing
As a Social Worker, I would like to see more promotion of Social Workers as skilled professional practitioners to GPs and Psychiatrists. Often equally trained and skilled in psychological practice as Psychologists, we do not receive the same recognition. (#299)

Social Worker Missing
As a social worker, with much training and experience, I would like us to receive the same rebate as psychologists. We have specific training in service provision to CALD people. When referrals are made for young people or children, the parents usually . . . . (incomplete comment) (#387)

Social Worker Missing
GPs appear reluctant to refer to social workers. The wording in the Medicare information is biased towards psychology. (#348)

Social Worker Missing
GPs are continuing to prefer to refer to Psychologists rather than Mental Health Social Workers like myself. More people with anxiety or depression related disorders could have access to effective treatment if did not have to get a referral from a GP. (#304)

Social Worker Missing
I believe that it has caused a great division between psychologists and social workers with psychologists believing they are superior to social workers. I'm not sure about the occupational therapists. This is extremely disappointing professionally. (#391)

Social Worker Missing
I do ask about nationality and Aboriginality and I do not see a lot from diverse groups - it could be because of the location I work in. I operate in a low socio-economic area and bulk bill and operate out of a GP surgery - it provides counselling at the . . . . (incomplete comment) (#326)

Social Worker Missing
I feel GPs are referring to private practice without considering community based alternatives which are often more affordable for the client so this blows out the overall Medicare budget. There is a strong bias towards psychologists from medical personnel (#302)
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Social Worker Missing
I feel it has been a great initiative and made psychological services much more accessible for people who would not ever thought of seeking this kind of help. (#5)

Social Worker Missing
I strongly believe the initiative has allowed faster and cheaper outcomes for mental health patients. I have heard some comments that it is expensive in that it allows subsidised services for the "worried well" and would dispute this on the grounds that t. . . . (incomplete comment) (#335)

Social Worker Missing
I think this program does not recognise the experience and abilities of some social workers who have been working as specialised clinicians for 20 or 30 years. I am a senior social worker with 2 degrees (including first class honours) and a five year clinical Masters (#296)

Social Worker Missing
I work in a GP Private Practice and there is little incentive to work for extended time periods with clients when you receive the same amount if you see someone for 20 minutes or if you see them for 1 hour. (#279)

Social Worker Missing
Increase in remuneration for in home visiting of clients, particularly elderly or rural to assist promote flexible service delivery. (#346)

Social Worker Missing
It allows services to mildly mentally ill in a preventative way. The effects of this show over time, and need to be evaluated as such. (#402)

Social Worker Missing
It is a pity that the allied health providers such as social workers who tend to charge less for similar services, or bulk bill all or many of their clients, are not referred to more regularly. I would like to see the statistics on fees which are being charged. (#370)

Social Worker Missing
It is very unjust that Accredited Mental Health Social Workers receive so much less of a rebate (payment) under this scheme. I have 2 University Degrees and a Postgraduate Qualification in Social Work and over 20 years Clinical Social Work experience, inc. . . . (incomplete comment) (#294)

Social Worker Missing
More education is required for GPs regarding the ability and expertise in providing mental health counselling and are in most instances quite surprised to learn that allied health, eg social workers, are qualified to provide mental health services to patients. (#270)

Social Worker Missing
People who would not normally get assistance with distress and life catastrophes are being assisted in a timely and effective way. I don't know how some of the people I have seen would have managed. People have a chance to be more functional and effective. . . . (incomplete comment) (#373)

Social Worker Missing
Referral Pathways for Social Workers need to be included in all other people available for referral. (#272)

Social Worker Missing
Social workers who have completed PhDs should gain EQUALITY of rebate with clinical psychologists. (#383)

Social Worker Missing
The BAI is not used by many GPs in Alice Springs. Very few different GPs have referred to me. (#259)
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Social Worker Missing
The Better Access initiative has significant contribution to early detection and treatment of mental health issues. This compliments the public services and address a very significant clinical service gap. (#369)

Social Worker Missing
The discrepancy in rebates provided to the different allied health providers does not allow clients to fairly access services of their choice. I have clients who want to see me as a mental health social worker and express a desire to see me. . . . (incomplete comment) (#411)

Social Worker Missing
The restrictions on number of sessions under the BAI means that allied health professionals cannot provide longer term treatment to people who require this type of care. They are still forced to see psychiatrists in the public or private sector and this is . . . . (incomplete comment) (#354)

Social Worker Missing
The service benefits these groups in a significant way. However as a social worker, I will not be able to continue providing this service because the Medicare bulk bill rebate is too low. I am not able to cover my cost. 274

Social Worker Missing
There are continual barriers as a Social Worker to accessing GP services under Better Access as they are now referring to other internal Mental Health programs in Div of GP that has less paperwork requirements. (#395)

Social Worker Missing
There are numerous issues re the Better Access Scheme providing access - eg for CALD communities it does not fund interpreters, a significant gap. In my experience virtually everyone, regardless of income, is coming to counselling through the Better Access. (#408)

Social Worker Missing
There should be a Medicare item that allows for couple counselling and family therapy because many people's families need support and advice on how to add value to individual therapy. (#305)

Social Worker Missing
This initiative is very important for people on low incomes to receive treatment and for clients to be able to self select their therapist. (#397)

Social Worker Missing
Unable to comment on rural, remote communities and children as I have received no referrals from those areas. (#374)

Social Worker Missing
Whilst I am a specialist Mental Health Social Worker, referral letters from GPs still refer to the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners Scheme - Social Workers should be identified as a specialist discipline alongside psychology (#323)

Social Worker Missing
Yes I would have liked to receive this survey earlier (only received this 22-7-09) (#247)