Q1. What is your occupation?

Q2. Has Better Access affected access to clinical training in your discipline?

Q2a. If yes, has it improved access or made it more difficult?

Q3. Do you work in a private practice or in both private and public practice?

Q4. How long have you been in private practice?

Q5. On average, how many hours per week do you work in your main private practice?

Q6. Since 1 January 2009 have you claimed for seeing patients with a mental disorder for any of the following MBS item numbers?

Q6a. Since 1 January 2009, how many patients have you referred to GPs/ psychiatrists/paediatricians through Better Access?

Q7. Who do you refer patients to for treatment of their mental disorder?

Q8. In referring a patient with a mental health disorder to an allied health professional (psychologist, occupational therapist or social worker) through Better Access what are the key factors influencing your decision?

Q9. Since 1 January 2009, on average how would you rate the information provided to you in the GP Mental Health Care Plan from the referring GP?

Q10. Of those patients referred to you through the Better Access initiative since 1 January 2009, please estimate the percentage who are receiving treatment for their mental disorders for the first time?

Q1. What is your occupation?

Respondents comprised 193 GPs, eight psychiatrists, two paediatricians and two respondents who did not provide their occupation.
RespondentsPer cent
General Practitioner
193
95%
Psychiatrist
8
4%
Paediatrician
2
1%
Grand total
203
100%
Top of page

Q2. Has the Better Access initiative affected access to clinical training in your discipline?

The majority of respondents (54 per cent) indicated that they did not think the Better Access Initiative had improved access to clinical training. Forty three per cent of respondents believed that clinical training had been affected.
RespondentsPer cent
No
110
54%
Yes
88
43%
(blank)
5
2%
Grand total
203
100%

Q2a. Has the Better Access initiative affected access to clinical training in your discipline? If yes, has it improved access or made it more difficult?

Of those respondents who believed that clinical training had been affected by the initiative (43 per cent), 89 per cent believed that it had improved access while eight per cent believed that it had made access more difficult.
RespondentsPer cent
Improved access
78
89%
Made it more difficult
7
8%
(blank)
2
2%
Grand total
88
43%

Q3. Do you work in a private practice or in both private and public practice?

Approximately 80 per cent of the respondents worked in private practice only, with about 20 per cent working in both public and private sectors.
RespondentsPer cent
Both public and private
44
22%
Private
158
78%
(blank)
1
0%
Grand total
203
100%

Q4. How long have you been in private practice?

Approximately two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents had been in private practice 11 or more years. Those with less experience in private practice (five years or less) were equally likely to work in both public and private sectors (16 per cent of respondents work in public and private practice) or in the private sector alone (16 per cent of respondents work in only the private sector).
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
Less than 2 years
4
3%
2
5%
6
3%
2 to 5 years
21
13%
5
11%
26
13%
6 to 10 years
24
15%
4
9%
28
14%
11 to 20 years
43
27%
7
16%
50
25%
21 years and over
64
41%
16
36%
80
39%
(blank)
2
1%
10
23%
12
6%
Total
158
100%
44
100%
202
100%
Top of page

Q5. On average, how many hours per week do you work in your main private practice?

Overall, 43 per cent or respondents reported working 30 hours or less per week and one third reported working between 31 and 45 hours per week in private practice. Sixteen per cent of respondents reported working 46 or more hours per week.

Of the respondents who worked in both public and private sectors, 18 per cent worked 15 hours or less per week in private practice, 20 per cent worked 16-30 hours per week and 36 per cent worked 46 hours or more. Of those who worked in private practice alone, 43 per cent worked 30 hours or less, 35 per cent worked 31-45 hours per week and 18 per cent worked 46 hours or more.
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
1 to 15 hours per week
24
15%
8
18%
32
16%
16 to 30 hours per week
45
28%
9
20%
54
27%
31 to 45 hours per week
55
35%
12
27%
67
33%
46 hours per week
29
18%
4
9%
33
16%
(blank)
5
3%
11
25%
16
8%
Grand total
158
100%
44
100%
202
100%

Q6. Since 1 January 2009 have you claimed for seeing patients with a mental disorder for any of the following MBS item numbers?33

  • 291: Referred patient assessment and management plan
  • 293: Review of management plan
  • 296: Initial consultation on a new a patient – in rooms
  • 297: Initial consultation on a new a patient – in hospital
  • 298: Initial consultation on a new a patient – home visit
Since 1 January 2009, almost 90 per cent of respondents have claimed for seeing patients with a mental disorder. Of those respondents working solely in private practice, 92 per cent had claimed for seeing a patient with a mental disorder, whilst 77 per cent of the respondents working in both private and public practice had claimed for seeing patients with a mental disorder.
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
No
6
4%
1
2%
7
3%
Yes
145
92%
34
77%
179
89%
(blank)
7
4%
9
20%
16
8%
Total
158
100%
44
100%
202
100%

Q6a. Since 1 January 2009, how many patients have you referred to GPs/ psychiatrists/paediatricians through the Better Access initiative?34

Since 1 January 2009, 38 per cent of respondents reported referring 20 or fewer patients to GPs, psychiatrists or paediatricians through the Better Access Initiative and two thirds reported making 21 or more referrals.

Of those respondents working solely in private practice, 62 per cent reported referring 21 or more patients and 29 per cent reported 51 or more. Respondents working in public and private practice made fewer referrals, with more than half reporting that they had made 21 or more referrals and 21 per cent reporting that they had made 51 or more referrals.Top of page
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
1 to 10 patients
17
11%
7
21%
24
13%
11 to 20 patients
37
26%
7
21%
44
25%
21 to 50 patients
48
33%
12
35%
60
34%
51 to 100 patients
28
19%
3
9%
31
17%
101 plus patients
15
10%
4
12%
19
11%
(blank)
0
0%
1
3%
1
0%
Total
145
100%
34
100%
179
100%

Q7. Who do you refer patients to for treatment of their mental disorder?

Seventy seven per cent of GPs reported that they referred to clinical psychologists, less than 60 per cent reported referring to psychologists, twenty per cent referred to social workers and ten per cent reported referring to occupational therapists.
Number of GPsPer cent of GPs
Psychiatrist
124
61%
Clinical psychologist
157
77%
Psychologists
120
59%
Social worker
40
20%
Occupational therapist
21
10%
Total respondents reporting nature of referrals
203

Q8. In referring a patient with a mental health disorder to an allied health professional (psychologist, occupational therapist or social worker) through Better Access what are the key factors influencing your decision?

Professional skill and competence (19 per cent) and cost (18 per cent) were identified as the biggest influences on referring a patient whilst information on waiting times was the least influential. One respondent reported that they do not refer to allied health professionals.
RespondentsPer cent
Professional skill and competence
122
19%
Cost
112
18%
Established relationship
97
15%
Location
89
14%
Area of specialisation
66
10%
Professional group
45
7%
Information on waiting times
36
6%
Do not refer to allied health professionals
1
0%
(blank)
62
10%
Grand total
630
100%
Top of page

Q9. Since 1 January 2009, on average how would you rate the information provided to you in the GP Mental Health Care Plan from the referring GP?

Overall, the majority (53 per cent) of respondents reported the information provided in the GP Mental Health Care Plan as good (26 per cent) or fair (27 per cent). Eighteen per cent rated the information provided as very good. Thirteen per cent rated the information provided as poor or very poor.

There were only slight differences in the views held by respondents working solely in private practice and those working in both public and private practice.
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
Very good
30
19%
6
14%
36
18%
Good
42
27%
10
23%
52
26%
Fair
47
30%
7
16%
54
27%
Poor
12
8%
4
9%
16
8%
Very poor
8
5%
2
5%
10
5%
(blank)
19
12%
15
34%
34
17%
Total
158
100%
44
100%
202
100%

Q10. Of those patients referred to you through the Better Access initiative since 1 January 2009, please estimate the percentage who are receiving treatment for their mental disorders for the first time?

Twenty nine per cent of respondents reported that more than 61 per cent of referrals were receiving treatment for their mental disorder for the first time, and 6 per cent reported that more than 81 per cent of their referrals were receiving treatment for the first time.

There was little difference in the perceptions reported by respondents working solely in private practice and those working in both public and private practice.
Private practice
Respondents
Private practice
Per cent
Both public and private
Respondents
Both public and private
Per cent
All respondentsAll respondents
Per cent
0 to 20 %
18
11%
3
7%
21
10%
21 to 40%
30
19%
9
20%
39
19%
41to 60%
42
27%
8
18%
50
25%
61 to 80%
42
27%
5
11%
47
23%
81 to 100%
8
5%
4
9%
12
6%
(blank)
18
11%
15
34%
33
16%
Total
158
100%
44
100%
202
100%

Footnotes

33 Note: Drop down menus in the web-based survey may mean variation in questions numbering across provider groups. The text reflects the question asked.
34 Note: Drop down menus in the web-based survey may mean variation in questions numbering across provider groups. The text reflects the question asked.