The 2020 Federal Budget has been handed down in Canberra this evening and I am thrilled to announce that the Federal Budget has outlined a plan to double the number of Medicare-funded psychology sessions available to Australians with a mental health care plan. The currently available 10 Medicare-funded psychology sessions will be doubled to 20 sessions.
This measure applies for an initial two-year period. The current advice is that they will be available from Friday this week – further information is awaited.
This is a momentous and long-awaited announcement, and it follows strong advocacy from the Australian Psychological Society – Australia’s peak body for psychologists.
The Federal Budget has invested $5.7 billion into mental health measures in 2020-21. This includes continued commitment to the continuation of telehealth, which has been a vital component of therapy delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring access and equity for all of the community, regardless of geographical location or socio-economic status. This year has seen an increased demand upon psychologists, including at Psychology ONE. We are endeavouring to get to new referrals in a timely manner and ask that you are patient with this. If you have a significant need for urgent sessions, please do not hesitate to call and let us know. We may be able to offer an earlier appointment or suggestions for support while you are on the waiting list.