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    This section presents the number and type of Medicare-subsidised mental health‑related services provided by psychiatrists, general practitioners (GPs), psychologists and other allied health professionals—including mental health nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and Aboriginal health workers. These services are defined in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and are provided in a range of settings, for example in hospital, consulting rooms, home visits, and over the phone. Information on the characteristics of people who received these services is also presented. For further information on the MBS data, refer to the data source section. Additional information on Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services provided by GPs is available in the Mental health services provided by general practitioners section.



    Key points

    • Almost 10 million Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services were provided by psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists and other allied health professionals to over 2 million patients in 2014–15. This represented an average of 5 services per patient over the year.
    • GPs provided more services to more patients than the other provider types.
    • There has been an average annual increase of 6.0% in the total number of Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services recorded for the 5-year period from 2010–11 to 2014–15. Clinical psychologist services had the highest average annual increase (10%) over the period.
    • In 2014–15, Victoria had the highest rate of patients and services at 98 per 1,000 population and 493 per 1,000 population respectively.
    • Females were more likely than males to access Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services from psychiatrists (54%) were females, general practitioners (62%), clinical psychologists (62%), other psychologists (61%), and other allied health providers (62%).

    Data in this section were last updated in April 2016.

    Service provision

    States and territories

    There were 9,785,527 Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services reported in 2014–15 for an estimated 2,069,004 patients, an average of 5 services per patient.

    Victoria had the highest number of patients and services per 1,000 population (98 and 493 respectively), compared to the national average of 88 patients and 414 services per 1,000 population. The Northern Territory had the lowest rate for both patients and services per 1,000 (36 and 116 per 1,000 respectively) (Figure MBS.1).


    Figure MBS.1: Medicare-subsidised mental health-related service and patient rates, states and territories, 2014–15

    Vertical bar chart showing the rates of Medicare-subsidised mental health related services and patients in 2014-15 by state or territory. Vic had the highest rate of services per 1,000 population (493), followed by Qld (427), NSW (410), SA (388), Tas (370), ACT (323), WA (291), and NT (116). The total was 412. Vic had the highest rate of patients per 1,000 population (98), Qld (89), NSW (88), SA (85), Tas (79), ACT (74), WA (69) and NT (39). The total was 88. Refer to Tables MBS .1 & MBS.7

    Source: Medicare Benefits Schedule data (Department of Health).

    Source data Medicare-subsidised mental health related services Table MBS.1 & MBS.7 (1.04MB XLS).


    Over time

    The total number of Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services increased from 7.7 million services in 2010–11 to 9.8 million services in 2014–15, translating to an average annual increase of 6.0% over the 5-year period to. From 2010–11 to 2014–15, clinical psychologist services had the highest average annual increase (10%), followed by GP services (8.2%) and services by other allied mental health services (7.8%). The number of subsidised psychiatrist and other psychology services increased at a lower rate over the same period (average annual increase of 3.5% and 3.1% respectively).


    Figure MBS.2: Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services, by provider type, 2010–11 to 2014–15

    Line chart showing number of Medicare-subsidised mental health services by provider and year. Psychiatrists were stable for 5 years with number of services starting at 2,009,411 in 2010–11 and increasing to 2,302,742 in 2014–15. GPs started at 2,131,305 increasing to 2,917,909. Clinical psychologists started at 1,270,250 increasing to 1,870,276. Other psychologists started at 2,106,620 increasing to 2,382,654 and other allied health services started at 230,972 increasing to 311,946. Refer to Table MBS.9.

    Source: Medicare Benefits Schedule data (Department of Health).

    Source data Medicare-subsidised mental health related services Table MBS.9 (1.04MB XLS).


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