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    jillian Horton

    As a practicing Clinical Psychologist who sees many people via the Better Access Scheme, I am shocked and very concerned about the cuts to the number of sessions people can be supported by Medicare to engage in. As a specialist, along with many, many of my colleges who have contacted me today, we are outraged that the people we see have been classified as having “mild to moderate” mental health problems, almost implying that they just need a supportive chat and a bit of advice! The people I see have eating sidorders, suicidal and self harm issues, depression where they cant function, high anxiety leading to loss of work time or considerable emotional disablilty, children who have disfunctional families or have considerable problems coping with the school system, and I could go on. Our ability to assess and treat the people we see was already difficult under the restrictions of the Medicare scheme and the current cuts to the Medicare support will place many people in a situation where they cannot obtain adequate or completed therapy. What does Professor Hickey and his colleagues think psychological therapy is?? What information does he have about the sort of people we actually see?? Whatever it is, it is clearly wrong and for him and others to support the shift of funding away from a highly used and successful program is a huge backward step for the community and is outrageous. To also suggest that the ATTAPS scheme did or does, see more complex cases is unbelieveable. I know many colleagues who worked in the ATTAPS Scheme when it was established and they said it was difficult to work within, underqualified and trained people were seeing complex cases and they did not find it resonable in terms of working conditions and admininistration structure. The cases were not more complex than those we see in private practice.

    Please government rethink the reduction of session for people to see specialist Clinical Psychologists in the Better Access scheme, and assit those with complex issues to get proper assessment and therapy inhterventions.

    Dr. Jillian Horton
    WA Clinical Psychologist in private practice


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