Better Outcomes or Better Access — which was better for mental health care?

Sebastian P Rosenberg and Ian B Hickie
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11247
Published online: 10 December 2012

To the Editor: Harrison and colleagues present data which confirm that inequitable distribution of mental health care is increasing under the Better Access program.1 They discount our promotion of the central role of general practitioners in the more restricted Better Outcomes program2 and our advocacy for GPs to resume those key activities despite lack of support under the Better Access program.3

  • Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Harrison CM, Britt HC, Charles J. Better Outcomes or Better Access — which was better for mental health care? Med J Aust 2012; 197: 170-172. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Hickie IB, Pirkis JE, Blashki GA, et al. General practitioners’ response to depression and anxiety in the Australian community: a preliminary analysis. Med J Aust 2004; 181 (7 Suppl): S15-S20. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Rosenberg S, Hickie I. How to tackle a giant: creating a genuine evaluation of the Better Access Program. Australas Psychiatry 2010; 18: 496-502.
  • 4. Mental Health Standing Committee of the Standing Council on Health. Council of Australian Governments National Action Plan for Mental Health 2006–2011: fourth progress report covering implementation to 2009–10. CITY: Standing Council on Health, 2012. http://www. 20Mental%20Health%20-%20Fourth%20 Progress%20Report.pdf (accessed Oct 2012).
  • 5. Medicare Australia. Medicare item reports (search for items 2700, 2701, 2702, 2710, 2715 and 2717). (accessed Nov 2012).


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