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You are here:
National recurrent expenditure on all mental health related
services in Australia in 2007-08 was estimated to be $5.3 billion,
according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Mental health services in Australia
2007-08, shows that of the $5.3 billion, about 60.5% came from
state and territory governments, 36% from the Australian Government
and 3.5% from private health insurance funds. Patient out-of-pocket
expenses are not included in this figure.
Expenditure on state and territory mental health services
increased on average by almost 6% per year (after adjusting for
inflation) between 2003-04 and 2007-08, to $3.3 billion.
'Overall, services for people with mental health care needs
continue to show a steady increase, generally above the rate of
population growth,' said Mr Gary Hanson of the AIHW's Mental Health
In 2008-09, over 21 million mental health-related prescriptions
were subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and
Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), costing the
Australian Government over $742 million. The majority of this cost
was for antipsychotics (51%) and antidepressants (41%).
'General practitioners are often a first contact point for
mental health concerns, with an estimated 13.2 million GP-patient
encounters involving management of a mental health issue in
2008-09,' Mr Hanson said.
The report found that Medicare claims for GP items, mainly GP
Mental Health Care items, constituted around 1.6 million of the
claims made in 2008-09.
Claims for subsidised psychiatrist, psychologist and other
allied health professional services increased by 17% from 3.9
million in 2007-08 to 4.6 million claims in 2008-09.
The Australian Government paid $666 million in benefits for
Medicare-subsidised mental health services in 2008-09, reflecting
an annual average increase of nearly 27% since 2004-05.
'This increase reflects in part the introduction of Medicare
items for psychologists during that period,' Mr Hanson said.
Estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2007
National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing suggest that one in
five Australians experience symptoms of a mental disorder each
Thursday 12 August 2010
Further information: Gary Hanson, AIHW, tel.
(02) 6244 1052, mob. 0407 915 851
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1230.
Mental health services in Australia 2007-08